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J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2011 Feb;7(1):13-4.

Need for safety of nanoparticles used in food industry.

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Food, Drug and Chemical Toxicology Group, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India), P.O. Box 80, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226001, India.


Nanotechnology derived products are now used in various spheres of life including food industry. Indeed nanotechnology may transform entire food industry in terms of production, processing and packaging and consumption. Due to their small size, nanoparticles find application as a carrier of antimicrobial polypeptides required against microbial deterioration of food quality. Detection of food pathogens, fungus producing mycotoxins, viruses and bacteria through nanosensors, which are quick, sensitive and less labour intensive procedures, is another area having potential application. The use of nanosensors in plastic packaging to detect gases released due to food spoilage is of consumer's relevance. Majority of nanoparticles for food use are organic moieties, hence it is of utmost importance to investigate their physico-chemical characteristics followed by toxicological implications to intestinal cells. It remains to be seen that nanostructured ingredients and nutrient delivery system may also carry other foreign substances to blood. Nano sized particles for food usage, having new chemical and physical properties may vary from normal macro particles that may also influence the interaction with living systems. Hence in vitro and in vivo studies are required for nanoparticles to be used in foods prior to their commercialization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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