Food Nanotechnology and Toxicology


Food nanotechnology is an area of emerging interest and opens up a whole universe of new possibilities for the food industry. The basic categories of nanotechnology applications and functionalities currently in the development of food packaging include: the improvement of plastic materials barriers, the incorporation of active components that can deliver functional attributes beyond those of conventional active packaging, and the sensing and signaling of relevant information. Nano food packaging materials may extend food life, improve food safety, alert consumers that food is contaminated or spoiled, repair tears in packaging, and even release preservatives to extend the life of the food in the package. Nanotechnology applications in the food industry can be utilized to detect bacteria in packaging, or produce stronger flavors and color quality, and safety by increasing the barrier properties.

Food toxicology is the study of the nature, properties, effects and detection of toxic substances in food and their disease manifestation in humans. Radioactive elements, heavy metals, or the packing materials used in food processing are examples of such substances. Food and nutritional toxicologists deal with toxicants in food, the health effects of high nutrient intakes, and the interactions between toxicants and nutrients.

 

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