Nanotechnology in the Food Field: Application of Metal-Based Nanoparticles
Pp. 88-128 (41)
Beatriz Gómez-Gómez and Yolanda Madrid
Nanotechnology offers a wide range of applications in the food sector such
as development of new tastes and textures, nanoencapsulation of bioactive food
components, design of nutrient delivery systems, nanosensors to detect spoilage or
contamination, and the design of new food packaging materials. Although metal-based
nanoparticles (AgNPs, SiO2NPs, TiO2NPs, ZnONPs...) have extensively been applied
due to their antimicrobial, antioxidant and UV-blocking properties, there is limited
knowledge about the impact of nanoparticles on human health and environment. For
safety reasons, the EU has issued regulations requiring labelling of the nanomaterials in
the ingredients list. Therefore, new analytical methods should be used to characterize
nanomaterials but, since there is no single and universal method that can be applied to
fully characterize nanoparticles, the need for multimethod approaches is widely
acknowledged. This chapter focuses primarily on the application of metal-based
nanoparticles in the food sector and the analytical methodologies used for nanoparticle
characterization. Regarding the applications of nanoparticles, special attention should
be paid to their antimicrobial properties and their use for developing active food
packaging materials. Since the characterization of nanoparticles in complex matrices is
troublesome, a detailed description of the prospects and difficulties of the analytical
techniques commonly employed is given. Similarly, factors affecting nanoparticles
stability such as sample preparation, interaction with food matrices, food stimulants,
and chemicals used in “in vitro” gastric digestion procedures are also described.
Finally, EU regulatory guidelines on nanomaterials are included and discussed.
Analytical methodologies, Current EU directives, Food, Metal-based
nanoparticles, Nanoparticles stability, Nanotechnology, Sample treatment.
Departamento de Química Analítica, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain.