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Trends Biotechnol. 2011 Oct;29(10):509-16. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2011.04.010. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Emerging roles of engineered nanomaterials in the food industry.

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  • 1Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7UA, UK.


Nanoscience is the study of phenomena and the manipulation of materials at the atomic or molecular level. Nanotechnology involves the design, production and use of structures through control of the size and shape of the materials at the nanometre scale. Nanotechnology in the food sector is an emerging area with considerable research and potential products. There is particular interest in the definition and regulation of engineered nanomaterials. This term covers three classes of nanomaterials: natural and processed nanostructures in foods; particulate nanomaterials metabolized or excreted on digestion; and particulate nanomaterials not broken down on digestion, which accumulate in the body. This review describes examples of these classes and their likely status in the food industry.

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