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Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2008 Mar;25(3):241-58. doi: 10.1080/02652030701744538.

Applications and implications of nanotechnologies for the food sector.

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  • 1Defra Central Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton, York Y041 1LZ, UK.


A review of current and projected nanotechnology-derived food ingredients, food additives and food contact materials is presented in relation to potential implications for consumer safety and regulatory controls. Nanotechnology applications are expected to bring a range of benefits to the food sector, including new tastes, textures and sensations, less use of fat, enhanced absorption of nutrients, improved packaging, traceability and security of food products. The review has shown that nanotechnology-derived food and health food products are set to grow worldwide and, moreover, a variety of food ingredients, additives, carriers for nutrients/supplements and food contact materials is already available in some countries. The current level of applications in the European food sector is at an elementary stage; however, it is widely expected that more and more products will be available in the EU over the coming years. The toxicological nature of hazard, likelihood of exposure and risk to consumers from nanotechnology-derived food/food packaging are largely unknown and this review highlights major gaps in knowledge that require further research. A number of uncertainties and gaps in relevant regulatory frameworks have also been identified and ways of addressing them proposed.

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