Nanoscale science, engineering, and technology (nanotechnology) is undoubtedly one of the hottest and topical areas of research. Nanotechnology continues to rapidly advance and show great promise for valuable applications throughout the food system. Promising areas of research in the food sector include, but are not limited to: nanocomposites for food packaging, nutrient delivery systems, and nanomaterials that could block certain substances in food, such as harmful cholesterol. In order to fully realize the benefits of nanoscale research in the food industry, it is vital to better understand the basics of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology; applications; and the regulatory and legal landscape. Sunrise session 006 “Nanotechnology and the Food System: Fundamentals, Applications, Education and Outreach, and the Legal and Regulatory Landscape” will provide an overview of fundamental concepts, applications, and the legal and regulatory environment, and will also address issues and challenges relating to consumer acceptance, public outreach initiatives, and educational developments.
Jozef Kokini, Univ. of Illinois, will get the session started by introducing concepts of nanotechnology that offer useful applications in food science. The talk will explain what nanotechnology is and what kinds of characterization and design tools are being used. Applications will include manufacturing and characterization of nanoparticles, the design and utilization of microfluidic and nanofluidic devices, surface science, and imaging tools that have been used so far. The talk will also show examples of useful applications in food science.
Rickey Yada, Univ. of Guelph, will follow up with a discussion on how nanoscience can be adopted in the food industry. A big part of this includes educating the public, expanding nanotechnology programs at universities, and addressing consumers’ issues with nanotechnology.
Finally, Mitchell Cheeseman, Steptoe and Johnson LLP, will examine nanotechnology from the political and regulatory point of view. As with previous emerging technologies, political forces and regulatory environments have forced divergence between the dominant food regulatory forces in the United States and Europe. Cheeseman will discuss the challenges and opportunities that the global legal and regulatory climate will create moving forward.
If nanotechnology is a new subject for you, or if you need an update on the regulatory happenings surrounding this controversial topic, don’t miss out on this session’s great speakers on Tuesday, June 26, from 7:15–8:15 a.m. in room N116.