Nanoparticles may be able to detect bacteria, extend food shelf life, add health benefits, or improve flavor, reports Discovery.
While nanotechnology does not involve any genetic manipulation, many companies are keeping secret about their work their doing. While this can keep competitors off their trail, it can also make it difficult for regulatory agencies to manage risks and create laws for these emerging technologies.
Nonetheless, nanotechnology offers some exciting potential benefits for the quality and safety of our foods.
1. CONTAMINATION SENSOR: Flash a light to reveal the presence of E. coli bacteria.
2. ANTIMICROBIAL PACKAGING: Edible food films made with cinnamon or oregano oil, or nano particles of zinc, calcium other materials that kill bacteria.
3. IMPROVED FOOD STORAGE: Nano-enhanced barrier keeps oxygen-sensitive foods fresher.
4. ENHANCED NUTRIENT DELIVERY
Nano-encapsulating improves solubility of vitamins, antioxidants, healthy omega oils and other ‘nutraceuticals’.
5. GREEN PACKAGING: Nano-fibers made from lobster shells or organic corn are both antimicrobial and biodegradable.
6. PESTICIDE REDUCTION: A cloth saturated with nano fibers slowly releases pesticides, eliminating need for additional spraying and reducing chemical leakage into the water supply.
7. TRACKING, TRACING; BRAND PROTECTION: Nanobarcodes can be created to tag individual products and trace outbreaks.
8. TEXTURE: Food spreadability and stability improve with nano-sized crystals and lipids for better low-fat foods.
9. FLAVOR: Trick the tongue with bitter blockers or sweet and salty enhancers.
10. BACTERIA IDENTIFICATION AND ELIMINATION: Nano carbohydrate particles bind with bacteria so they can be detected and eliminated.