Posted: January 8, 2008

Albert Franks Memorial Lecture: Micro and Nano Technologies for Food - a healthy and safe option?

(Nanowerk News) Nanotechnologies will impact many application areas. Food will be one of them. But why would anyone be interested in nanotechnology in food? What are the consumer benefits? Opportunities are new sensors and diagnostics for quality assurance and improved food safety; new concepts for process innovation that will lead to improved products; and better packaging materials for longer freshness that also tell you something about the product inside. In the field of prodect engineering nanotechnologies can be used to create additives that enhance the nutritional value of food products and therefore contribute to the health and wellbeing of the consumer.
But what are the risks associated with these applications? In most cases the nanotechnology does not end up in the food product. And if it is part of the foodstuff it will be in a form that is soluble or easy biodegradable. But there is an intrinsic responsibility for developers to show that the application is safe. And how will consumers react? The consumer acceptance will strongly depend on the risk/benefit evaluation that each individual will make.
Nanotechnology and Food - did you know that:
  • The nanofood market reached 5.3 bn. US dollars in 2005 and is expected to reach 20.4 bn. US dollars in 2015?
  • Milk is a nanoscale colloid and that nanotechnology could change the flow properties of ketchup?
  • Some nanomaterials have received the NSF registration required for use in food/beverage manufacturing facilities, denoting that they are safe for incidental contact with food?
  • Want to learn more? 
    Dr Frans Kampers, an expert on bio and nano technology as applied to nutrition, and one of Europe's most knowledgeable and charismatic presenters on the topic of novel foods, will discuss a variety of issues related to nanotechnology and food in his upcoming lecture, including topics such as:
  • Nanotechnologies for enhancing the nutritional value of food.
  • Can food be made better tasting, healthier and longer lasting from the application of nanotechnology?
  • What are the benefits and risks involved with nanotechnology and food?
  • How can industry demonstrate show that nano applications are safe?
    This lecture is free to attend and will commence on Thursday, January 17, at 18.30 hrs, preceded by a drinks reception from 17.45 hrs.  
    To attend please register at or call Carrie Smith on 01786 447 520 (in the UK).
    Source: Institute of Nanotechnology