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Study area: Biotechnology

Basic project(2BTL)

project management and communicative skills

Preliminary final
report

15 November 2010



3 December
2010

Nanotechnology in food







Ferhat Ince

Adeline Mairesse

Jonathan Sirault

Gäetan Tordeurs

Julien
Toussaint

Sanne Van Beek

Daria Van Eechaute

2BTL

Project leader: Evelyne Wirix

Project supervisor: Kris Moors

Ingrid Geirnaert

Julie Schmitz

2010
-
2011

Inhoudstabel

Summary

................................
................................
................................
................................
.................

3

Nanotechnology in food

................................
................................
................................
..........................

4

Introduction

................................
................................
................................
................................
.............

4

Techniques in laboratories (Adeline and Jonathan)

................................
................................
................

5

Applications for farmers (Gaetan)

................................
................................
................................
...........

5

Econom
y and political prospects (Julien)

................................
................................
................................

5

Which techniques exist? (Daria)

................................
................................
................................
..............

5

Techniques used in agricultural production

................................
................................
........................

6

Techniques used in food processing and functional food

................................
................................
...

7

Techniques used in food packaging and distribution

................................
................................
..........

7

What are the applications? (Sanne)

................................
................................
................................
........

8

Now that the different techniques are mentioned, some of them will be further explained.

...............

8

Pro’s and contra’s? (Ferhat)

................................
................................
................................
....................

9

Pro’s

................................
................................
................................
................................
.........................

9

Contra’s

................................
................................
................................
................................
...............

9

What will the future b
ring? (sanne)

................................
................................
................................
........

9

Overview of images

................................
................................
................................
...............................

11

Reference List

................................
................................
................................
................................
........

12




Summary


Nanotechnology gives us the possibility to develop materials, systems or products with revolutionary
new physical, chemical and biological properties.

Because nanotechnology is interdisciplinary it’s called an enabling technology and can be used in a
wide variety of sectors like electronics, medicine, cosmetics, chemistry and in the food industry.
(Vlaams instituut voor Wetenschappelijk en Technologisch

Aspectenonderzoek 3
-
47)


The use of nanotechnology in the agriculture and food sector is relatively recent
compared with their
use in drug delivery and pharmaceuticals but it’s got great potential. It can be used in sectors like
agricultural production
, food processing and functional food and food packaging and distribution.

How about food that can adjust its color, flavor or nutrient content to accommodate each person’s
taste or health needs.

Or packaging that can sense when food contents are spoiling and alert
consumers.

(Tiju Joseph and Ma
rk Morrison)

Even though nanotechnology in food may have good prospects, it still provokes negative reactions
from the public. This paper will also handle the politics around, the prospects, the ethical question and
economical possibilities of nanotechn
ology in food.
(Vlaams instituut voor Wetenschappelijk en
Technologisch Aspectenonderzoek 3
-
47)



Nanotechnology in food

Introdu
ction

The definition of nanotechnology is based on the prefix “nano” which comes from the Greek word meaning
“dwarf”. In more technical terms, the prefix “nano” refers to a reduction factor,

a nanometer (nm) is the same
as 10
-
9

or one billionth of a meter. For comparison, a hair is 100 micrometers thick or 100 000 nm, a bacteria is
1 micrometer long or 1000 nm and 10 water molecules are put together 1 nm. The nanometer is in other words
the s
cale for molecules.

The word nanoscale is generally used when referring to materials with the size of 0.1 to 100
nanometers. It’s on this scale that nanoscientist and nanotechnologists study and manipulate
materials and processes which will have a great impact on the future.

Nanotechnology is the investigation for phenomena and handling/process
of materials at atomic, molecular and macromolecular scale.
Nanotechnology st
ands for designing, assembling a
n
d

ap
plying of
structures, instruments and systems by controlling the form and size on
nanometer scale to create materials and devices with new or vastly
different properties.


Without knowing people have been using nano

materials or products
made with nanotechnology processes for many years already. An example
is colored glass you can find in churches, the source of this color is the
refraction which depends of the size of the metal parts that come from the
metal salts i
n the glass. The difference with the products and applications
today is the systematic manner in which these properties are studied,
controlled and exploited. There has been a change from accidental use to
deliberate and focused application.

The starting point of nanotechnology is generally said to be the lecture
‘Plenty of room at the bottom’ of Richard Feynmann in 1959. But it was in
1905 that Albert Einstein already calculated that the diameter of a sugar
molecule had to be approximately 1
nm.



Figuur
1
: Nanotechnology in food

Figuur
2
: Nanoscale

Nanotechnology can work from the top down which means reducing

the size of the smallest structures
to the nanoscale e.g. photonics applications in

nano
-
electronics and nano
-
engineering. The bottom up
nanotechnology means manipulating individual atoms

and molecules into nanostructures mainly by
self assembly. This technique is mostly used in chemistry and molecular materials.

(Vlaams instituut
voor Wetenschappelijk en Technologisch Aspectenonderzoek 3
-
47)


T
echniques in
laboratories (Adeline and Jonathan)


Applications for farmers (Gaetan)

The European Union’s vision is of «


knowledge
-
based economy

».Therefore they want to maximize the
potential of biotechnology for their benefits in economy, society and environment.Ther
e is a growing
demand for healthy and safe food.In order to creak a big economy we have to deal with a challenging
and complex process involving. The convergence of different sciences.There comes the
nanotechnology. This has the potential to revolionize t
he agricultural and food industry with new tools
for the molecular treatment of diseases, rapid diseases detection and to help plants absorbing
nutrients.Nanotechnology will also help the agricultural industry to combat viruses and other crop
pathogens.The

nanotechnology also allows a precision forming that makes use of computers, global
satellite positioning systems in order to measure the best environmental conditions for crops at its best
efficiency.One of the major roles for nanotechnology will be the
increased use of autonomous sensors
linked into a GPS system. Wireless sensors are already being used in the USA and Australia in the
vineyards. The initial cost of setting up such a system is justified by the fact that it enables a better
production.Nano
sensors can be engineered to trigger an electrical or chemical signal in the presence of
a contaminant such as bacteria.With the help of smart sensors, farmers will be hekped in agriculture by
providing accurate information for better decisions.

Economy an
d political prospects

(Julien)


Nanotechnology development is already inevitable. The expected positive impacts of nanotechnology
range from a technological revolution in the manufacturing process, new employment skills, and the
emergence of new industries
, to a variety of economic opportunities.

Today to understand the phenomenon of nanotechnology economy, it is also necessary to understand
how it affects the social and the environmental dimensions. In the first time such as any new science
and technology
it is important to inform the scientific community and reduce the risk of
misunderstanding either the benefits or the negative impacts (like GMOs). In fact stockholders could be
reluctant to invest in industries with nanotechnology if nobody knows where we

will go. So governments
should make surveys in every private company to find a framework. Actually almost researches lead
conclusive results.


However the “nanofear” effect is to much more base on ignorance than on reality. Novels or films
change the publ
ic’s opinion who does not know exactly what nanotechnologies are.

Another problem of nanotechnology on an industries scale is its cost. In fact a line of production in
nanotechnology is more expensive than a conventional one. Even if it has got an economi
c potential to
reduce costs as on a long time it require high start investments. We understand so why industries are
not willing to the idea of making long study before investments launching costs of a new Nano product.

The impact of nanotechnologies will
prevent a generation from getting job and so affects welfare and
undermines social relations and on the other side creates new skills for new workers. For many
industries, respondents foresee that nanotechnology will save the active ingredient per unit of
output,
enable faster development of new and efficient products, create jobs for highly qualified professionals,
increase competition between companies in different sector, require higher levels of initial investment ,
permit the development of more produc
tive processes, among other impacts

It is also important to find standardized technical procedures to ensure safety with nanomanipulation.
Therefore nanoproduction is certainly one of the major challenges to be overcome. Regulatory agencies
and NGO’s have

an important role to play. Each government should increase expenditure on research
prevention and control, while NGOs should dedicate themselves to gathering relevant information and
increasing public awareness. This is why a new legal framework is urgent

to be established.

In the future nanotechnology will be spread in our common lives, so we must be vigilant and prevent
multinational power from misusing the expected potential of nanotechnology. Money should not prevail
human health.

Nanotechnology deve
lopment is already inevitable. The expected positive impacts of nanotechnology
range from a technological revolution in the manufacturing process, new employment skills, and the
emergence of new industries, to a variety of economic opportunities.

Today to
understand the phenomenon of nanotechnology economy, it is also necessary to understand
how it affects the social and the environmental dimensions. In the first time such as any new science
and technology it is important to inform the scientific community
and reduce the risk of
misunderstanding either the benefits or the negative impacts (like GMOs). In fact stockholders could be
reluctant to invest in industries with nanotechnology if nobody knows where we will go. So governments
should make surveys in eve
ry private company to find a framework. Actually almost researches lead
conclusive results.


However the “nanofear” effect is to much more base on ignorance than on reality. Novels or films
change the public’s opinion who does not know exactly what nanotec
hnologies are.

Another problem of nanotechnology on an industries scale is its cost. In fact a line of production in
nanotechnology is more expensive than a conventional one. Even if it has got an economic potential to
reduce costs as on a long time it
require high start investments. We understand so why industries are
not willing to the idea of making long study before investments launching costs of a new Nano product.

The impact of nanotechnologies will prevent a generation from getting job and so affe
cts welfare and
undermines social relations and on the other side creates new skills for new workers. For many
industries, respondents foresee that nanotechnology will save the active ingredient per unit of output,
enable faster development of new and effi
cient products, create jobs for highly qualified professionals,
increase competition between companies in different sector, require higher levels of initial investment ,
permit the development of more productive processes, among other impacts

It is also im
portant to find standardized technical procedures to ensure safety with nanomanipulation.
Therefore nanoproduction is certainly one of the major challenges to be overcome. Regulatory

agencies
and NGO’s have an important role to play. Each government shoul
d increase expenditure on research
prevention and control, while NGOs should dedicate themselves to gathering relevant information and
increasing public awareness. This is why a new legal framework is urgent to be established.

In the future nanotechnology

will be spread in our common lives, so we must be vigilant and prevent
multinational power from misusing the expected potential of nanotechnology. Money should not prevail
human health
.

Which techniques exist? (Daria)

Techniques used in agricultural prod
uction

Agricultural production is defined as the processes to produce materials (food, fuel and raw materials for
other industries) from plant cultivation and raising domesticated animals.

The application of nanotechnology developments in agricultural
production can be divided in 5 areas:

• sensors and diagnostic devices

Used to monitor environmental conditions, plant and animal health. Examples are uni
-
molecular
sensors, bio
-
arrays and solid
-
state sensors.

• disease and pest control

Including the use o
f novel delivery systems for pesticides, and limiting the environmental impact of
agrochemicals. The most used carrier (delivery systems) are nano
-
emulsions for disease and pest
control in plants and liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles, and nanoshells are m
ost common used in
applications for controlling pests in domesticated animals.

• water and nutrient control

Including the use of novel delivery systems, and filtration and remediation systems to ensure access to
clean water. Mostly used are Nano
-
clays they

are highly absorbent and capable of slow release of
chemicals present in fertilizers.

• genetic engineering of plants and livestock to improve productivity

Recently mesoporous silica nanoparticles have been used to introduce novel DNA.

• agriculture as a
means to produce nanomaterials

Either harvesting natural nanomaterials from, generally, waste material, or using plants and microbes to
manufacture nanomaterials. For example, electrospinning can be used to produce cellulose nanofibres
out of traditionally

harvested materials.


Techniques used in food processing and functional food

Food processing describes the processes and equipment involved in turning agricultural products into
consumer products, and the mechanisms in place to ensure quality control. The

many
nanotechnological applications in food processing and functional food can be divided in three sectors:



quality control

Detecting chemical contaminants by using unimolecular sensors, sensor arrays, and solid
-
state
systems.

Detecting biological contaminants by using electronic biosensors, based on protein conjugated
nanowires, and carbon nanotubes. Measuring quality with electronic noses and tongues can improve by
using nanoparticulates.



Processing technology

Development of
equipment coatings to prevent the generation of biofilms and increase durability
(methods for applying coatings are gas phase synthesis, sol
-
gel processes, electro spray and electro
spinning and self
-
assembly). Filtration is important to minimize and recyc
le as much of this waste
-
water
as possible. Nanofiltration mostly use
s

ceramic and polymer layers.



functional food

Nano
-
emulsions and solid lipid nanoparticles are examples of nanostructured delivery systems. Food
Structure or ‘Mouth Feel’ depends of the i
ngredients and can effectively be replaced by nanostructured
components made from natural and synthetic polymers such as water
-
in
-
oil nano
-
emulsions.


Techniques used in food packaging and distribution

Food packaging and distribution is defined as materia
ls used to package fresh and processed foods,
and the procedures and systems in place to monitor supply chains and authenticate items.

The use of nanotechnology applications in food processing and functional food can be divided in 4
sectors:



Barrier
Packaging

The main packaging material is plastic, addition of coatings or inclusion of nanoparticulates (mostly
nanoclays) within the polymer can make it more impermeable to gases.



Antimicrobial and Antimycotic Packaging

Most activities to combat this, hav
e centred around nanoparticulates of silver and zinc oxide.




Biodegradable Packaging

This is a combination of biopolymers (such as cellulose) and nanoclay particles. Other nanomaterials
can also be used including metal oxide nanoparticles, carbon
nanofibres and nanotubes.



Active and Smart Packaging

Smart packaging responds to its environment either to regulate an external effect or to produce a visual
readout of a change. Examples are packages that: regulate the internal packaging environment,
comp
osites that can perform self
-
healing, have sensor technologies (Oxygen sensors, Stress and
temperature sensors, Biosensors) and have RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags and tracking.

(Douglas K.R.Robinson and Mark Morrison)


What are the applications? (Sann
e)

Now that the different techniques are mentioned, some of them will be further explained.

Nano emulsions

Nano
-
emulsions are systems which are very stable. They show little fusion of particles and also only a
bit of sedimentation or creaming. They can
occur with lipid or polymeric vesicles or particles and can
range the size of 20
-
200nm. Nano
-
emulsions differ from micro
-
emulsions because they require an input
of energy. Micro
-
emulsions form spontaneously when particles on the surface are added to a liqu
id
medium.

Nano
-
emulsions are for example used in functional food as delivery mechanisms for nutrients. Those
mechanisms must fulfill certain criteria. One of them being to deliver the nutrient to the precise part of
the gastro
-
intestinal tract in a form
that allows to be absorbed and utilised by the body. It is also
important that the mechanism does not affect the sensory perception of the consumer and that the
nutrient is protected from the external environment.

Nano
-
emulsions are also used in agricultur
e as an encapsulated and controlled release method. The
y

caused a revolution in the use of pesticides and herbicides.

Nanoclay

Nanoclays have multiple layers of complex ores. Mostly aluminium and magnesium silicates are used.
The structure of nanoclays co
nsists of aggregates of stacked, ultrafine layered particles. Each layer
within the particles is 1 nm thick and a few hundreds of nm in the other two dimensions. They have
been used historically as materials for buildings, and containers of foodstuffs due
to their relative
abundance and low cost. Nanoclays have increased the interest in their application in composite
materials. They provide properties to lightweight polymers that would usually only be found in heavier or
more expensive materials. Nanoclays
are used in
bio degradable packaging but also in disease control.

Figuur
3
: Creation of polymer clay composites.

Carbon nanofibres and nanotubes:

Carbon nanotubes are allotropes of carbon with a cylindrical nanostructure.
(Douglas K.R.Robinson and
Mark Morrison;Tiju Joseph and Mark Morrison)


Figuur
4
: cellulose nanofibres



Pro’s

and contra’s? (Ferhat)

Pro’s

Now you know that there are many possibilities of nanotechnology for enhancing foodpackaging that
keeps the product inside longer fresh.
Nanotechnology makes it

also

possible to enhance flavour

and
texture of foods or it can be used to

reduce fat content.

Another positive of developing nanotechnology is that n
utritionally
-
enhanced or functional foods will be
available for more pe
ople. If they

could synthesize these
foods in big quantities, may
be this

could
be
deliver
ed

food to poor countries with famine.

If it is possible to

assembly meat by using nanotechnology, we can stop slaughtering animals. This
results in a smaller need of farmland to produce meat.

Contra’s

However a
dding nanoparticles

to food is not without any risks: nanoparticles can overcome barriers like
epithelium cells in the intestines and enter the blood stream. Little is known about how nanoparticles are
absorbed by, distributed around and excreted from the body. There is too
little research on the safety of
nanoparticles in the human body to exclude negative consequences.

By using the bottom
-
up technique nanoparticles can accumulate with self
-
assembly in food so that the
concentration becomes too high. These concentrations are

still so small that these accidents could go
unchecked.

Another problem is the lack of a clear definition for nanotechnology: there are also natural nanoparticles
in food e.g. droplets of fat in milk.
(Nanotechnology: Is it Healthy, Wealthy, and

Wise?;Andrew
Chen;David Dlamini;Andrew Chen;David Dlamini)
)

What will the future bring? (sanne)

Nanotechnology is a young and constantly developing branch of science. Furthermore it is growing
quickly. Around the world, governments are investing more and more in nanotechnology. In 19
97, the
funding for nanotechnology was about $432 million. In 2005, that number had risen till $4.1 billion. By
2015, nanotechnology will be incorporated in products for about $ 1 trillion of the global economy. The
nanotechnology industries will have abou
t two million employees and six million people will have
supporting jobs.



Figuur
5
: Possible image of the future?

Because the global customer base is increasing, the sale of food is transforming. In the view of
globalization, food packaging requires controlled food safety and quality based upon international
standards. Nanotechnology has a great role in this aspect. T
hat is why it will grow rapidly in the next few
years. Nowadays simple conventional packing is used. However this will be replaced with multi
-
functional intelligent packaging methods. In this way the food quality will be improved thanks to the
applications

on nanotechnology in this field. The main focus in the future lies within food safety by
controlling microbial growth, postponing oxidation and improving damage visibility. A few applications,
who support this area, already exist. They support development

of improved taste, flavor, color, texture
and stability of foodstuffs, increased absorption and bioavailability of nutrients and health supplements
and nano
-
sensors for traceability and monitoring the condition of food during transport and storage. In
the

field of active and intelligent packaging materials, research and development are very dynamic and
develops in step with the search for environmentally friendly packaging solutions. Researchers expect
that nanotechnologies will be a major role because of
all additional safety considerations and filling
present
packaging needs. Nanotechnology’
s impact on the food and beverage packaging industry is
increasing significantly. The sales of the nano
-
related packaging products rise worldwide. From 2002 till
2004,

the sales have risen from US$150 to US$860. However, the growth potential of the nano
-
packaging is still enormous. Nanotechnology is obviously going to be a great part of the future with a lot
of potential
.

(Jennifer Kuzma and Peter VerHage;Nesli Sozer and Jozef L.Kokini 82
-
89;Paulo Antônio Zawislak et
al.)



Overview of ima
ges


Figuur 1: Nanotechnology in food

................................
................................
................................
...........

4

(Chatchawal Wongchoosuk)

Figuur 2: Nanoscale

................................
................................
................................
................................
.

4

(Dennis Kunkel Microscopy)

Figuur 3: Creati
on of polymer clay composites. …
………………………………………………………………………………
8

(Douglas K.R.Robinson and Mark Morrison;Tiju Joseph and Mark Morrison)

Figuur 4: cellulose nanofibres

................................
................................
................................
.................

8

(Young Joo)

Figuur 5: Possible image of the future?

................................
................................
................................
..

9

(Wordpress)







Reference List



Nanotechnology: Is it Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise?

Sam Davis and Bill Baumann. Penton Media,
2010.

Andrew Chen.
The ethics of nanotechnology.

Karthik L.Gurulingaiah. Santa Clara University, 2010.

Chatchawal Wongchoosuk.
Nanotechnology in food.
2010.

David Dlamini.
The pros and cons of nanotechnology.

Jabulani Sikhakhane. Destinyman.com, 2010.

Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
Nanoscale.
2010.

Dougla
s K.R.Robinson and Mark Morrison.
Nanotechnology Developments for the Agrifood
Sector.
ObservatoryNANO, 2009.

Jennifer Kuzma and Peter VerHage.
Analysis of Early Stage Agrifood Nanotechnology Research and
Development.

David Rejesk.
www.Azonano.com
,
2005.

Nesli Sozer and Jozef L.Kokini.
Nanotechnology and its applications in the food sector.
Elsevier B.v.,
2009.

Paulo Antônio Zawislak, et al.
Technological trajectories and multidimensional impacts: further
remarks on the

nanotechnology industry.

Prof.Dr.Jens Leker. institute of business
administration at the department of chemistry and pharmacy, 2010.

Tiju Joseph and Mark Morrison.
Nanotechnology in agroculture and food.

Mark Morrison.
nanoforum.org, 2006.

Vlaams instituut voor Wetenschappelijk en Technologisch Aspectenonderzoek.
Nano Nu
. Ed. Stef
Steyaert. Brussel: Robby Berloznik, directeur viWTA, 2007, 3
-
47.

Wordpress.
Future image of nanotechnology.
2009.

Young Joo.
cellulose nanofibres.
Cornell University
, 2010.