The onslaught of nano technology does not seem to have spared food industry also though the safety of this latest technology is still being debated. While antagonists are fiercely opposing it on many considerations, the protagonists are promoting it based on their perception that no evidence exists to show they are dangerous. As far as food is concerned, nano technology is touted to be useful in areas like detection of microbial contamination, special packing modes with built in anti-microbial functions, functionally improved packing materials, biodegradable packaging films, more effective pesticide application, enhanced nutrient delivery, development of new flavor compounds etc though these are all in the realm of futuristic possibilities. The credentials of nano technology become all the more uncertain because of the opaque nature of research programs being carried out by the private sector industry.
"Think you know just what you're eating when you get prepackaged and prepared foods? What you don't know may hurt you as more and more companies begin researching and using nanotechnology in their food products. While some applaud the efforts as ways to help reduce obesity and improve nutrition, others urge caution as nanoparticles may have some unknown and potentially deadly effects on the human body. While it's ultimately up to you whether or not you decide to eat nanofoods, here are some facts that will educate you on nanofood technology and may have you moving a little slower towards the latest food tech".
As nano technology deals with materials in the particle range of 1-100 nano meter (nm), there is natural apprehension that some of the particles can enter the human system through the oral route or by inhalation. The reported ill effect of nano silver particles on human brain is often cited as an example of the dangers posed by this emerging technology. There are also fears about the accumulating effect of nano particles in the environment with potential for causing severe impact on the ecosystem as a whole. As these particles have unlimited access to every nook and corner of the biological system once exposed, how and in what way they will impact on the health is a relevant issue of great concern. Added to this, nano particles used in coating of fruits can get transferred to the human by mere touch, a situation not acceptable in the market place. It is time that global agreements are reached governing the use of nano technology in food processing keeping in view all the concerns expressed by those doubting its safety.V.H.POTTY