Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 19 in category Food, Agriculture, Packaging (newest first):


Investigating single-atom catalysis for nitrogen reduction reaction

catalysisThe ability to produce ammonia efficiently from air and water at room temperature and ambient pressure is of great interest in agriculture where it is used in fertilizers. In particular, the electrochemical reduction of nitrogen, in which the conversion of nitrogen to ammonia takes place under mild conditions, is highly relevant for the chemical industry that needs to cope with increasing demands for ammonia and at the same time is under pressure to reduce its ecological footprint. A new study describes novel single-atom catalysts as fascinating electrocatalysts for the application in nirtogen reduction.

Nov 5th, 2018

Nanotechnology applications for food contact materials

dishesNanomaterials can improve the properties of food contact materials. Innovations of this kind are of particular interest for food packaging made out of plastic materials. The purpose of their use is to improve food storage and so to guarantee both freshness and quality. A further goal is to improve the technical properties of materials in order to make them sturdier more resistant to abrasion, and easier to process. With regard to environmental protection, little is known at present about the specific behavior of nanomaterials and composites during waste treatment processes.

Sep 20th, 2018

Nanotechnology to the rescue: Replacing chemical disinfectants with engineered water nanostructures

water_nanostructureTrying to develop chemical free disinfection techniques, researchers are currently exploring the effectiveness of a nanotechnology based intervention method for the inactivation of foodborne and spoilage microorganisms on fresh produce and on food production surfaces. This method utilizes Engineered Water Nanostructures (EWNS) generated by electrospraying of water. These EWNS are 25 nm in diameter; remain airborne in indoor conditions for hours; contain Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS); have very strong surface charge (on average 10 electrons per structure) and have the ability to interact and inactivate pathogens by destroying their membrane.

Mar 16th, 2015

Nanopore sensor for botulinum toxin detection

botulinum_toxinBotulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most poisonous substances known to humans, with a median lethal dose (LD50) of 1ng per kg of body weight and are the cause of the life-threatening neuroparalytic illness botulism. Recent assays are very promising for practical use, they require expensive and technically complex equipment. Meeting a need for further development of assays for detection of BoNTs, researchers now have developed a nanopore-based assay for detection of BoNT-B.

Jan 12th, 2015

Nanotechnology in agriculture

agricultureNanotechnology applications are currently being researched, tested and in some cases already applied across the entire spectrum of food technology, from agriculture to food processing, packaging and food supplements. Specifically in agriculture, technical innovation is of importance with regard to addressing global challenges such as population growth, climate change and the limited availability of important plant nutrients. Nanotechnology applied to agricultural production could play a fundamental role for this purpose and research on agricultural applications is ongoing for largely a decade by now.

Aug 25th, 2014

How to identify nanomaterials in food

applesNanotechnology, specifically nanomaterial engineering, has begun to find applications in agriculture and the food industry. Some nanomaterials have unique physicochemical properties that can be exploited for beneficial effects on foods, leading to increased shelf life, enhanced flavor release, and increased absorption of nutrients and other bioactive components. The ability to detect and to measure a given nanomaterial at key time points in the food lifecycle is critical for estimating the nanoscale properties of interest that dictate manufacturing consistency and safety, as well as understanding potential beneficial or adverse effects from food intercalation.

Aug 22nd, 2014

Nanotechnology in food quality control: Preventing food from biting back

noodlesSome of the recent and significant developments in the area of nanotechnology applications for food quality control are discussed in this article. In food quality testing methods/devices, nanomaterials have various advantages over conventional materials such as ultra-sensitivity, selectivity, multiple targeting, portability, reproducible data processing, implantable conformability, on-board intelligence, non-invasive testing of packaged items, etc. Analytical chemistry plays a prominent role in food quality control and has already started taking advantages from the versatility and novel merits of nanoscience.

May 20th, 2014

International standards for trade in nanotechnology foods?

fruitsNanotechnology-based food and health products and food packaging materials are available to consumers in some countries already, and additional products and applications are currently in the research and development stage, and some may reach the market soon. In view of such progress, it is expected that nanotechnology-derived food products will be increasingly available to consumers worldwide in the coming years. Some of these products appear to already be in commercial use in other countries, raising the likelihood that they could become a part of our food supply in the near future, if they are not already. This article looks at how regulators are dealing with the pressures to commercialize nanotech foods and food packaging.

May 16th, 2012