Relationship between nanotechnology and nutrition

Relationship between nanotechnology and nutrition


Thesis: This paper aims to show the relationship between nanotechnology and nutrition by demonstrating how technology is applied in the food industry. The document will state the various ways through which nanotechnology is implemented in the food industry.

  1. Introduction

1.1 Definitions

1.2 What entails nanotechnology in the food industry?

2.0 Utilization of the nanotechnology in the food industry

2.1   As nutrients and diets

2.2    Flavors in the food industry

2.3    Features of flavors used

3.0 Nanotechnology in the food industry

3.1 In food and beverages

  1. 2 Antimicrobial components

4.0 Nanoemulsion

4.1   Forms of the nanoemulsion

4.2 Different techniques for nanoemulsion production

  1. The relationship between nanotechnology and nutrition (in the food industry)
  2. Conclusion

Research paper

Nanotechnology in food industry


It has been shown that nanotechnology is a growing area of production in the food industry. Nanotechnology refers to the process of manipulating matter on supramolecular, atomic and molecular scale. On the other hand, nano materials are defined as those substances that have their size between one up to one hundred nanometers and they have biological, chemical and physical properties that cannot be found in materials of the same material but with a bulk size.   Hence, the technology helps to manipulate atoms and molecules to enhance fabrication of macroscale products. In most cases, the technology helps to manipulate matter which has a dimension size from one   a hundred nanometers. Through nano food processing and products, it has become possible to change flavor characteristics, nutritional value, prevent microbial invasion as well as the color of food substances.

There are many benefits which are realized when nanotechnology is used in the food industry and many benefits are expected to be realized with time. The technology affects every aspects of the food system which includes packaging, processing, bioavailability and shelf life of nutrients. There are various impacts which will continue to be realized when nanomaterial’s will continue to be used to impact bring impacts in the food industry. The impacts that is expected to happen get linked with the novel and unique properties which are found in nanomaterial. However, the public is much more concerned on whether there are negative impacts which results from use on nanomaterial. Actually, if the safety of nanomaterial is proved then the public will be able to use food products containing nanomaterial in a large extent.



Utilization of nanotechnology in the food industry

Notably, nanotechnology is being used in a large extent in the food industry as dietary supplements and nutrients. Thus, nanomaterial’s used for this purpose serve as additives and ingredients in health supplements and nutrients which enhances bioavailability and absorption within the body. Akhavan and Jafari (2017), showed that, “nanomaterial serves as antioxidants, vitamins and antimicrobials. In the same manner, nano materials are used in the food industry as ingredients for nano scale which helps to improve the texture, food flavor and color”. Nano materials are also useful in packaging and production of food. When used in this sector they help in detecting presence of microbial contaminants and enhance nutrients bioavailability.

All the same various nanoparticles are used in the food industry to enhance packaging of materials and contact materials of food. Furthermore, nanosensors are being used to regulate the food environment and at the same time detect contaminants. Thus, during food production, the sensors which are made of nanomaterial are used in the food packing plants where they help to monitor food condition during storage and transport. Furthermore, they can detect nutrient deficiency in certain plants which are edible. All in all, during food transportation, nanomaterial helps to preserve the food. In this case, the nanomaterial checks the condition of food which is refrigerated in the trucks to ensure temperature is properly regulated.

Notably, the use of flavors in food industries lies on how well nanotechnology will be implemented within the food industry. During production and processing of food nanotechnology plays an important role in adding flavor. Unlike others, flavors from nanoparticles are so volatile, reacts with other components, not susceptible to moisture and heat. Thus, encapsulations made from nanomaterial are serve very important roles in retaining and protecting desired tastes. Flavors are very volatile, react with other components, and are susceptible to heat and moisture. So in this case nano- and microencapsulation are important to protect and retain the flavors in the best conditions.

As a way of trying to improve their rate of production, food industries have looked for ways which will make their efficiency in production to better. In this case, nanotechnology has been considered as the potential and advanced form of technology which will support the goal of improving the quality of food being produced by industries. Use of nano technology in the food industry has been supported by advancements made in other areas including communication, computing, integrated device use and storage of data. Thus, this technologies support nanotechnology in waste reduction, keeping the food authentic and safe. The consumer goods as well as food products are being impacted by use of nanotechnology. But at times users do not even realize that they are using nanomaterial because the nano products are incorporated in low quantities. Due to the various advances that have been made through nano technology, It is clear that in future more advances will be realized especially in food industries if nanotechnology continue to be used

There is clear evidence that currently a lot of efforts are employed to advance nanotechnology. In 2010, it was presented that more that 1.65 million dollars were used to support research that was meant to improve the efficiency of nanotechnology. According to Anandharamakrishnan (2014), “the recent research studies has shown the potential benefits of nano technology when it is to be used in different forms of food applications. Thus, various changes have been adopted to enhance color changes, food texture, appropriate food packing and catalysation of cooking”. Furthermore, research in the food industry has shown that nanotechnology applies various forms of communication, chemistry, public health and medicine. As a result, a lot of nanotechnology application in food industry have emerged and are being employed in food microbiology and food science to enhance quality food production. As presented, in the twenty first century use of nanotechnology has progressed at a higher rate especially in the food industry. Thus, various chemicals have been introduced and they are supporting use of nanotechnology in the food industry.

However, there is need for researchers to do more research to confirm whether the chemicals which are being utilized in the name of nanotechnology have no health effect in the human body. As indicated by Srividya et al (2017), “there are international and national legal arrangements which are made to ensure that control, safety and production while using nanotechnology is regulated”. Also the need to have government regulations which restricts and control, how nanotechnology is being used in the food industry need to be implemented. Furthermore, the various concerns which can be raised by the public would require to be given much more attention to ensure harm does not take place. In this case, the various concerns and claims which are made concerning food safety due to use of nanotechnology will be reduced.

When nanotechnology is used in food industry it helps to solve challenges that are involved in bioprocessing and food industries to manufacture safe foods which are of high quality by employing means which are sustainable. Additionally, technology monitors the quality of food being produced since it helps in identifying the bacteria that are contaminating food through use of biosensors which have nanomaterial. Nanotechnology, is also applied in safety, processing, packaging and production of various types of foods.

All the same, there are nano composites which are used in the food industry to coat food substances thereby improving the way they are packaged. In this case, nano composites can be applied directly to the surface of food materials after anti-microbial agents are attached to them.

Nanotechnology in Microbial Food Industry

Nanotechnology has continuously been used in microbial food industries. In this case, the technology helps to monitor the quality of food, the food processing activity, the packaging of food and the storage condition. Thus, within the food industry application of nano technology ranges from packaging the food products in an intelligent manner while at the same time the food is modified to ensure it is good for consumers to use.

Nanotechnology has continuously been used in food and beverages industry. It has been shown that nanotechnology has been applied in various areas where it has allowed the food to be much safer than before. There is evidence that through nanotechnology, the shelf life of various forms of foods and thus, they prevent it from being damaged and thus being thrown away. The quality of food which is delivered is of high quality because nano materials can serve as antimicrobial agents thus preventing the food from being spoiled.

In particular, nanotechnology has various benefits in the food industry and many are expected to grow with time. It is therefore expected that this rapidly growing technology will have more impacts in the food production system where by the packaging, transportation, processing bioavailability and shelf life. As presented by Katouzian et al (2017), “nanomaterials are commercially being employed in in the food industry and its utilization is expected to grow to a large extent because the novel and unique properties associated with the materials”. As result, humans are expected to continue being exposed to nanomaterial’s .It would therefore be very important if researchers get to find out any health impacts’ which humans are likely to get when they continue using nanomaterial’s. The quantification of the nanomaterial will depend on the cycle of food life which is considered as critical for manufacturing safe consumer products which have potential benefits. Moreover, the ability of the public to accept food and food related products that has nano materials will improve the production of foods with this materials.

Nano emulsions and Their Stability for Enhancing Functional Properties of Food Ingredients

Nano emulsions have been defined as the metastable colloidal dispersions of one fluid in form of nanometer sized droplets that falls in the range of 10 to 100 nm. In the other immiscible fluid.  When comparisons have been made to the conventional emulsions it is worth noting that Nano emulsions are thermodynamically and kinetically more stable.  What happens is that the nano emulsions in stable state for a relatively long period of time, even though there is existence coalescence, flocculation and separation by the gravitational effect (Salvia).  The nano emulsions that include water and oil are being used in in delivery systems and encapsulation for the various functional foods.  The use of the nano emulsions is to impact flavor, quality control, and antimicrobial properties of the food products.  On the other hand, they improve the health-promoting effects and also in enhancing bioavailability of the compounds of bioactivity.

Nano emulsion is another form of nanotechnology which is applied in existing processes of food industry to bring in benefits. It involves use of droplets size nano emulsions to give unique texture and rheological properties that renders the material to be transparent and pleasing to touch. These features brought about by nano emulsion materials are very useful in food production industry. When nano emulsions are used in food industry it becomes possible to obtain food substances with improved taste and color.

Various forms of nano emulsion techniques

A number of techniques have been employed in the production of Nano emulsions. In addition to this, the features of the physicochemical, requirement for stability of the Nano emulsion for the food ingredient have been defined to a greater extent (Salvia).  The demand for use of edible Nano emulsions as the delivery systems as food ingredients has increased in the recent past. Clients of the food products are the leaders in the food market that are providing rational foods that include the bioactive and the preservatives compounds (Salvia). The approach is minimizing the concentration of the synthetic addictive that are being used together with the natural addictive, and in other times being used differently.  The use of the Nano emulsions in the food industry has busted into food sector, where it has found a number of applications as it offers new insights in the requirement for the development heathier and safer food stuffs.  It is worth noting that scientific research has made it possible for realization materials suitable for commercial and technological applications (Salvia). As shown by Brandelli et al, (2017) “ the control of the molecules of the nano emulsions, have paved the way for the way for the modification of macroscale features that include texture, shelf life, sensory, as well as processability. The advancement of the Nano technological materials has helped in creating a direct impact in number of areas that include the management of the waste water, traceability and safety, improvement of food packaging techniques, as well as efficient incorporation of addictive’s and food ingredients”.  The application of the nano technology in the food industry has greatly impacted the positivity in the areas of food industry by enhancing more efficiency and experience to a greater extent.  The response that have been provided by the professionals in the area of industrial and scientific communities have greatly helped in the realization of the Nano (Salvia). Delivery systems of the active compounds. The implication of this is due to the fact that it has impacted the in the spreading and rise in the amount of the sales made on the food stuffs as individuals are demanding for more food products that have been prepared by use of Nano technology process of manufacturing and packing the food products.

Benefits of nano emulsion

There are a number of advantages that are associated with the attributions of the Nano emulsions over the conventional emulsions. They are also characterized reduced size of droplets as they are considered to possess more stability when compared to in terms of particle aggregation as well as gravitational action. Particle aggregation and gravitational forces are the main factors that affect emulsions of stability. Despite the fact that the micro emulsions and nano emulsion exists, it has been identified that they thermodynamically unstable even in the presence high long-term kinetic stability. The fact is that the free energy of the Nano emulsion system is bigger than the respective lipid or the aqueous phases that are separate (Salvia). The micro emulsions are also characterized by lower free energy. The addition fact that should be clear concerning the Nano emulsion is on the concept of feature of the droplets in terms of shape and size of the Nano emulsions that does not depend on the external conditions of the system. The result of this is that they lead to more stability at the various temperatures or the moment after dilution. The Nano emulsions have been identified to be having the effect of being transparent to the stems of the kind. This is the feature makes them to be applied in the in the manufacture of the various foods and drinks (Salvia).  The nanoemulsion materials are characterized by the aspects of modulated in the efforts of achieving the systems with novel textures.

The aqueous phase of the nanoemulsions of water and oil plays a significant role in the determination of the role of physiochemical features of nanoemulsions. The phase of the nanoemulsions is connected of be having constituents of minerals, bases, acids, vitamins or even polysaccharides. Addition of other ingridients to water, the fact is that there is a realization of the features of the nanoemulsion.

Different techniques of nano emulsion production

      There exists number of ways in which nanoemulsions are prepared. The methods make use of both high and low energy methods. For the methods that makes use of the high energy, there is use of the mechanical devices that used in providing the large amounts of energy that are needed in the production methods.  Joyner et al (2015) presented that, “the high methods are important as they deliver large forces that are disruptive.  In the case of the methods that makes use of the low energy, they are characterized by no need of energy, the fact being that the methods does not make use of much energy”. This being the case, mechanical components in this case are not include in the process. It is worth noting that mechanical methods are characterized by much consumption of energy for the processes to take place.  On the other hand, the production methods of nanoemulsions makingare achieved by the approach of applying intrinsic physiologicalfeatures of the system.  More specifically, the production of the nanoemulsions using the two named above, stored energy is used in the process as well as making sure that there is utilization of parameters such as compositions and the temperature values of the system.  Initally, high energy methods were being used in the preparations of nanoemulsions.It is by the recent research that the low energy methods have been discovered and are being applied intesivey in the production needs.

High energy methods for preparing

Basically, nanoemulsion production through the methods of use of high energy, experiences processes that are featured by non-equilibrium systems. These non-equillibrium systems cannot be formed in a spontaneous manner.  As shown by Trujillo et al (2016) “Mostly, the high energy methods are applied in the production of nanoemulsions. High pressure homogenizers are used in providing energy together with the mechanica energy inputs in the whole system”.  The forces that are provided by the mechanical devices have the effect of disrupting water and oil in order to form what is now referred to as nanoemulsion”.  The other source energy in high energy methods are the ultrasound generators.

Figure 1: Graphical difference in between High and Low Energy Nano emulsion production.

Low energy methods for preparation of Nano emulsions

The methods are characterized by phase inversion of temperature, where physiochemical features are utilized in the system. The low energy methods are noted to be more effective than the high methods as they are characterized by low energy procedures.  The advantage that is related to the use of low energy methods is on the fact that it results to small droplet sizes when compared to the ones that are produced by the high energy methods.  The disadvantage of low energy methods is on the fact that they only make use of specific oils as well as the emulsifiers. The solution for this, is buy use of high level synthetic surfactant concentrations when producing the nanoemulsions.

Figure 2: Differences in optimization of emulsification process before and after application.

The phase inversion methods fall in the category of low energy methods of Nano emulsion production. They are characterized by utilization of chemical energy that is produced during transitions of the phases that are attained by the approach of altering the constant temperature composition. In addition to this, non-ionic surfactants that highly depends on temperature.



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