The last decade has witnessed the development and arrival of novel nano-based food materials, innovative food packaging, intelligent delivery mechanisms of nutrients and bioactive materials, implementation of green nanotechnologies for crop production and nano-biosensors to provide safer foods and waste reduction. Opportunities to exploit and develop nanotechnologies in the food sector have resulted in a large number of patents as food technologists and engineers continue to identify novel ways to re-invent food products that would appeal to consumers on a global scale. However, in the pursuit of delivering patentable technologies, concerns over consumer health and safety in the use of nanoparticles in foods is an ongoing challenge. This review aims to present a discussion of the recent innovations of nano-based food technologies in terms of patented knowledge across a number of applications, future trends and impact on the food industry. As food regulators respond to the potential threat of nanomaterials guided by toxicity studies, we also discuss recent developments and initiatives being adopted to ensure the safe use of nanomaterials based on current predictions.
Keywords: Food contact materials, functional foods, nanofoods, nanoparticles, nutraceuticals, Nanomaterials, Nanocapsules, Nanotubes, Nanoclays, Nanochips
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