Nanotechnology Moves Forward
In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft guidance document that addresses the use of nanotechnology by the food industry. Nanotechnology is an evolving technology that allows scientists to create, explore, and manipulate materials on a scale measured in nanometers—particles so small that they can’t be seen with a regular microscope. There is great potential to impact the food and agriculture sector with on-going research and development in many areas. Public interest in nanotechnology as it relates to food has significantly increased in recent years. Particular interest has focused on application discoveries, potential safety implications, and regulatory oversight. Here are some of this year’s sessions that will focus on different aspects of nanotechnology:
- Nanotechnology and the Food System (Session 006): Jozef Kokini of the Univ. of Illinois will provide an introduction to the methods, tools, and applications of nanotechnology. Rickey Yada of the Univ. of Guelph will then discuss nanotechnology programs at universities and the need for educating consumers about nanotechnology. Mitchell Cheeseman of Steptoe & Johnson LLP will close the session by discussing differences between U.S. and European laws and regulations.
- Safety Evaluation of Nanodelivery Systems and Nanoparticles in Foods (Session 182): Sally Tinkle of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) will describe the National Nanotechnology Initiative’s research efforts to provide the information regulatory agencies need to perform risk assessments that protect public health and the environment and support the beneficial use of nanotechnology. Secondly, Cristina M. Sabliov of Louisiana State Univ. will discuss biodistribution of polymeric nanoparticles used for enhanced vitamin E delivery. Prabir Dutta of Ohio State Univ. will discuss interaction of commercially available nanoparticles with intestinal epithelial cells. Finally, Mengshi Lin of the Univ. of Missouri will discuss new methodologies and strategies for extraction, detection, and characterization of engineered nanoparticles in foods.