Nanotechnology for Food Safety
B. Park. USDA-ARS, Richard B. Russell Research Center, Athens, GA, U.S.A. Cereal Foods World 54(4):158-162.
Nanotechnology is the science of studying and producing materials and devices of nanometer size—about the size of a small molecule or an individual atom. Nanotechnology enables the development of future inventions across food science and technology. By 2015, the global impact of products in which nanotechnology plays an important role will be approximately $1 trillion annually. More than 400 companies worldwide are now active in the research and development of nanotechnologies and their applications in food and agriculture. With the nanofood market soaring from $2.6 billion in 2003 to $7.0 billion in 2006 and expected to reach in excess of $20 billion by 2010, the application of nanotechnology to food and agricultural products continues to grow. The potentials of nanotechnology for food and agriculture include improving food safety, biosecurity, product traceability, and the efficacy of functional foods, adding value to the food industry, increasing the efficiency of agricultural production, and creating intelligent packaging materials. Among several potential nanotechnology applications, the development of nanoscale biosensors for food safety and security is now emerging.