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Relation between nanotechnology and food

Nanotechnology is everywhere around us, although we aren’t aware of it all the time. Many companies (cosmetics, food) use nanotechnology standards in order to improve their products, but don’t really talk publicly about it.

Nanotechnology is widely used in the food industry. If we put aside the “possible toxicity of nanoparticles” factor, nanotechnology standards can offer significant benefits to the society. Here is ten of them.

1. Bacteria identification and elimination — Scientists have developed a method which allows nano-carbohydrate particles to bind with bacteria, thus detecting and eliminating them.

2. Enhance the flavor — Our tongue’s sensors detect the taste of what we consume. Now, scientists have developed a way to trick the tongue by bitter blockers or sweet and salty enhancers.

3. Set the texture — Nanocrystals and lipids significantly improve food spreadability and stability for better low-fat foods.

4. Track, trace and protect — Scientists from California have created nanobarcodes from nanoparticles that contain silver and gold stripes, thus improving tagging individual products and tracing outbreaks.

5. Reducing pesticides — By using a cloth saturated with nanofibers slowly releases pesticides, thus eliminating the need for additional spraying and reducing chemical leakage into the water supply.

6. Green packaging — In order to create antimicrobial and biodegradable nanofibers, scientists have used lobster shells and organic corn.

7. Improved nutrients delivery — In order to significantly improve the solubility of vitamins, healthy omega oils and antioxidants, scientists have nano-encapsulated them.

8. Enhancing food storage — In order to keep the food fresh, scientists have created Nano-barriers which are able to keep the oxygen “away”.

9. “Kill microbes” packaging — Scientists have developed food films that are made out of nano particles of zinc or calcium are able to kill bacteria.

10. Sense the contamination — Scientists developed a device which allows us to detect a E. coli by just a laser.

Adapted from materials found at Discovery.com

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