With the evolution in the food industry, smaller particles are being explored to be used in food and the packaging. Due to this reason, nanotechnology has been used in the food industry to a great extent. Food nanotechnology is basically an emerging technology that can be seen in dietary chocolate slimshake. With the adverse climate conditions, geographical limitations and growing population, production of food has become inadequate. So, to make food available on global scale, there is a need to preserve the food. Nanotechnology has helped in this immensely and significantly improved the shelf life of packaged food.
Nanotechnology has helped in the delivery of fresh and healthy food that used to be a challenge to achieve. Although, there are certain regulations that need to be followed, soon a better and newer way of safeguarding food would be developed. Let’s take a look at the contribution of nanotechnology in food and processing industry:
1. Nanotechnology and Food Components:Can you imagine a world of food where food is transformed into something very delicious without adding any cholesterol and fat? This is an enticing picture that seems impossible but can be realised by using nanoparticles. With the help of nanoparticles, minerals and vitamin supplements can be encapsulated and added into the foods. Also, fatty droplets can be transformed to nanoscale where the fat of those products are replaced with healthier products. Though there wouldn’t be much difference in taste, flavors can be added to eliminate any bitterness. Also, the color and texture can be modified as per the need.
2. Nanoparticles and Packaging :The use of nanoparticles is already there, such as to avoid beers getting flat, some of the US plastic bottles are using the nanotech. Packaging is extremely important and smart packaging helps keeping food fresher for longer periods that also increases their shelf life. By making use of biodegradable and antimicrobial materials, an eco friendly approach is taken. By designing smart nanoparticles, when in contact with the gas emissions, the packaging will change its color to let the consumer know if the product is deteriorated or ripe.
3.Regulation with Nanoparticles and Nanotechnology:The concern with nanofoods is all about health and safety issues connected with them. For instance, The European Union has made it legal for food products that contain nanoparticles to be labelled as such but the process of manufacturing still remains unregulated. The problem with this thing is that there is no idea where would these nanoparticles would go in our body and their reaction. As nanoparticles are designed to be so small that they can travel anywhere, no one knows how they will get together and react.
Conclusion: As there are no solid results, there is a need of thorough research about use of nanotechnology in food to conclude that it has health risks in the long term. This being said, no one can deny the various benefits provided by nanoparticles and nanotechnology and it will continue to be developed.
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