Nano Processing Adds Taste

Nanoencapsulated flavor enhancers are sometimes added during the stage of food processing to provide taste. For instance, nanosized salt grains are being developed to ensure that the food retains the salty texture but does not contribute to increasing high blood pressure. Researchers are also trying to find ways to use nanotechnology to insert water in place of fat droplets, therefore reducing fat consumption but without changing the texture.

This is a photo of nano-diamonds using an optical microscope. Image Courtesy: Ewa Rej, the University of Sydney

NPs as Preservatives

Nanoclays and nanofilms are thin packaging material that act as barriers to prevent the food from spoilage and stop the absorption of oxygen by sealing packages. It also prevents the carbon dioxide from escaping while maintaining the texture. 

Nanoparticles are cleverly attached with antibodies that have the capacity to change colors when pathogens are detected in the food content. Packaging material such as plastic containers and cardboard boxes are made with antimicrobial properties to extend shelf life of the food products they hold.

Nano in Agriculture

In order to reduce the dependance on chemicals and fertilizers to keep pests at bay, farmers are turning to nanotechnology to help them spot fungi in their crops. This is done by planting nanosensors in fields to help them keep track of nutrition levels, which decrease when pests are present.

Devoid of Allergic Reactions

Gluten-free foods are recommended to people with celiac disease, but nanoparticles used in wheat products can prevent allergic reactions in people who are gluten sensitive. The nanoparticles make this possible by segregating the harmful ingredient in a shell like enclosure, which the body understands as unhealthy.

Toxicology

Researchers are in the process of determining whether certain particles used in food manufacturing cannot be processed by the body completely, hence could end up accumulating and cause side effects. For example, nanosilver and titanium dioxide could possibly accumulate in the small intestine, indicating the development of leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *