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Nanomedicine (Lond). 2013 Dec;8(12):2007-25. doi: 10.2217/nnm.13.176.

Progress in the characterization and safety evaluation of engineered inorganic nanomaterials in food.

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Institute of Nanochemistry & Nanobiology, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China.


Nanotechnology has stepped into the food industry, from the farm to the table at home, in order to improve the taste and nutritional value, extend the shelf-life and monitor the food quality. In fact, as consumers we have already been in contact, via oral exposure, with a number of food products containing engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) more often than most people think. However, the fate of ENMs after entering the GI tract of the human body is not yet clearly understood. Hence, the related safety issue is raised, and attracts much attention and wide debate from the public, even including protest demonstrations against nanotechnology in food. In this review, we summarize the up-to-date information about the characterization and safety evaluation of common inorganic ENMs (with a focus on silver, titanium dioxide, silica and zinc oxide nanoparticles) in food. Based on the literature, a whole scenario of the safety issue of these ENMs in food and an outlook on the future studies are given.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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