Applications of nanomaterials in food packaging with a consideration of opportunities for developing countries

ArticleinTrends in Food Science & Technology 22(11):604-610 · November 2011with 290 Reads
Abstract
This concise review describes the science and technology developments made towards applications of nanomaterials in food packaging materials. The technical benefits of actual and near-market applications are described. The uncertainties over risks that some of these novel materials may pose to consumer safety and environmental safety are outlined along with the corresponding regulatory barrier that this poses to innovation and new product development. Finally, some opportunities and approaches are proposed for developing countries to gain the expected benefits of the newly emerging nanotechnologies. This could involve taking the new science and technology, developed already for retail packaging, and adapting it for more local needs.
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    A number of strontium-based iron oxides are available for the industrial use. Among them, strontium hexaferrite cobalt iron oxide (Sr2Co2Fe12O22) is preferred over others due to its better magnetic and electrical properties than others. This material is also extensively used for the absorption of microwave radiations. This study was conducted to account for the synthesis and characterization of Sr2Co2Fe12O22 nanoparticles and to report their biocompatibility in albino mice. Nanoparticles were synthesised by normal microemulsion, XRD analysis confirmed the single and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed average particle size ranged between 30 and 50 nm. Nine-week-old male mice were intraperitoneally administered with 50 mg/mL of solvent/kg body weight of strontium hexaferrite cobalt iron oxide nanoparticles for 22 days. Control group was maintained in parallel. A series of neurological tests (rota rod, light and dark box, open field and Morris water maze) were conducted in both groups. Blood samples were collected from direct cardiac puncture, and parameters of complete blood count, serum biochemical parameters and antioxidant were determined in liver and brain tissues of all subjects. Analysis of result revealed that all studied neurological test performances varied nonsignificantly (P > 0.05) between the two treatments except clockwise rotations during open field test that were significantly reduced (P = 0.05) in Strontium hexaferrite Cobalt Iron Oxide nanoparticle-treated male albino mice than in the control group. All studied complete blood count and serum parameters varied nonsignificantly (P > 0.05) between two treatments. It was observed that superoxide dismutase concentration was significantly higher (P = 0.05) in the liver of nanoparticle-treated male mice. In conclusion, we are reporting that applied dose of strontium hexaferrite cobalt iron oxide nanoparticles is affecting the exploratory behaviour and antioxidant metabolites of male albino mice.
  • Chapter
    We now have diverse types of nanomaterials (NMs) comprising of inorganic particles (e.g., oxides, metals, and salts existing in nature or produced in the laboratory) or organic particles (e.g., polymer-clay nanocomposites and quantum dots that may be manufactured only in the laboratory), ranging in dimensions between 1 and 100 nm. Their unique physicochemical properties are determined by their shape, size, surface area, and charge. Because of the widespread application of NMs in various fields, an intentional or unintended release of nanomaterials into the environment is on the increase, while their adverse effects on biological systems are difficult to predict. This situation necessitates the assessment of the potential effects of NMs on the exposed organisms and ecological processes. This chapter summarizes the latest research findings regarding the impact of NMs on the growth, metabolism, and toxicity of nonvascular plants.
  • Book
    This book assesses the current challenges and opportunities for the next generation of agriculture and food science. Examining the role of nanotechnology and the application of related tools and techniques to transform the future of food, it also discusses in detail nanotechnology in food production, processing and packaging, as well as the benefits of and concerns regarding nanofoods (nanotoxicity and food forensics). Considering the potential of IoT to revolutionize agriculture and the food industry by radically reducing costs and improving productivity and profits, the book highlights the necessity of integrating IoT and nanotechnology into the next generation of agriculture and food science. Further, it presents a detailed analysis of IoNT implementation, together with the goals that have to be met in order to achieve significant improvements in the agri-food sector. In addition it explores a range of challenges, risks, and concerns that have a direct or indirect impact on nanotechnology and IoNT implementation in agriculture and the food industry. In closing, it discusses the use of green nanotechnology and green IoNT in order to create smart, safe, and sustainable agriculture and healthy food.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    This study was conducted to evaluate the ability of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZONPs) with unique properties to protect tomato against the bacterial speck pathogen, caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pst). Protection of tomato against bacterial speck using ZONPS was evaluated by its direct antibacterial activity and its ability for inducing resistance in tomato plants. The results revealed that ZONPs showed significant direct antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato under laboratory conditions. Moreover, tomato plants treated with ZONPs showed a significant reduction in disease severity and bacterial proliferation relative to non-treated plants. Furthermore, tomato plants treated with ZONPs showed higher self-defense enzyme activity relative to untreated plants. The regulatory and defense genes, LePR-1a and Lipoxygenase (LOX), involved in the salicylic acid (SA) and (JA) signaling pathways, respectively, were highly expressed in tomato plants treated with ZONPs compared to untreated plants. Growth characters of tomato plants treated with ZONPs were significantly enhanced relative to untreated plants. The control of bacterial speck pathogen of tomato using ZONPs through its direct antibacterial and by developing of systemic resistance in treated tomatoes against the pathogen is considered the first report.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    This paper gives a comprehensive overview of the application of different nanometer materials in different food packaging. At the same time, the advantages of nanomaterials used in food packaging is further discussed. The toxicity of various nanomaterials to different cell or organelle was also analyzed and summarized
  • Chapter
    The business potential of nanotechnology is expected to alleviate global social challenges as this emerging technology is expected to serve as an important driving force in modernistic agriculture for sustainable food production. Nanotechnology has the prospect to transform the packaging system of the food industry through improved packaging methods for better food quality and customer satisfaction. However, the difficulty lies in commercialising these inventions to put them to use. Notwithstanding the potential risks associated with nanotechnology-based products, this chapter explores the essential elements for the successful commercialisation of engineered nanomaterials. It focuses on bridging the link between the innovation, development and markets in the commercialisation of food packaging products from bio-nanocomposites. Critical factors that could be considered in the management decision-making for the commercialisation of bio-nanocomposite applications were identified. It is expected that, within a global market, a thorough understanding and adoption of these identified factors for successful commercialisation of active packaging technologies will yield system-based solution.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Food spoilage is a major global concern due to the lack of proper packaging technology. Nanotechnology is expected to improve food packaging. Indeed, novel nano-based food packaging materials possess unique characteristics including antimicrobial potential, oxygen scavengers, and barriers to the gas or moisture, etc. The application of such nanomaterials in food packaging increases the shelf life of food without causing any undesirable alteration in its quality. The use of nanomaterials in food packaging is still in embryonic stage, and hence, the present review focuses on recent advances and overview of the current status in the field. Attempts have also been made to address issues related to toxicity and safety, public perceptions about nanomaterials and key areas of research in the field. The knowledge of pros and cons of this technology will therefore define their applicability as a sustainable food packaging material.
  • Book
    Full-text available
    Summary This book focuses on causes and prevention of environmental toxicity induced by various nanomaterials. It describes the basic principles, trends, challenges and future directions of nanoecotoxicity, and factors affecting toxicity of nanomaterials, various studies in nanoecotoxicity evaluation, and the safety and risk assessment of nanomaterials.
  • Article
    It is less than 20 years since nanotechnology found applications in food packaging. The new packaging materials have featured various improved characteristics such as antimicrobial activity and active packaging. However, there is a great controversy about the production cost, safety and suitability of nanocomposite materials to come in contact with foodstuffs. To this end, we critically summarize the literature in order to provide the overview of the current status in the field. A scientometric evaluation is presented for the first time in order to illustrate the state of the art. The USA and the Asian countries are the leaders, while the EU countries follow. Additionally, as the analysis of nanomaterials in food matrices is still in early stage, there is an emerging demand to review the analytical techniques which are capable for the monitoring of nanomaterials. Microscopy, spectroscopy, separation and mass spectrometry techniques show advantages and drawbacks which are discussed. FFF-ICP-MS and sp-ICP-MS have the greatest potential for the detection of inorganic nanoparticles in food. In conclusion, the difficulty of analyzing nanoparticles is increased by the lack of standard solutions, reference materials, standard methods and the limited number of available inter-laboratory proficiency tests.
  • Article
    Majority of materials employed for food packaging are non-biodegradable materials which do not meet increasing demands in sustenance of environment. Thus, several biopolymers have been exploited to develop biodegradable food packaging materials. This article reviews variety types of biopolymer, printing inks and optical properties in papers.Barrier properties of packaging materials against moisture and oxygen penetration are of high relevance.Enhanced protection of existing materials against weather conditions can be achieved by application of printed coatings. To improve barrier performance of packaging materials, new inks were investigated. Determinations of the optical properties in the packaging materials contribute to quality control and saving resources.The optical properties of paper are sometimes more critical for the sale of paper than the physical and mechanical properties.Optical properties include color, brightness, opacity and gloss.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    All-biobased and biodegradable nanocomposites consisting of poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) and starch nanoplatelets (SNPs) were prepared via a new strategy involving supramolecular chemistry, i.e., stereocomplexation and hydrogen-bonding interactions. For this purpose, a poly(d-lactide)-b-poly(glycidyl methacrylate) block copolymer (PDLA-b-PGMA) was first synthesized via the combination of ring-opening polymerization and atom-transfer radical polymerization. NMR spectroscopy and size-exclusion chromatography analysis confirmed a complete control over the copolymer synthesis. The SNPs were then mixed up with the copolymer for producing a PDLA-b-PGMA/SNPs masterbatch. The masterbatch was processed by solvent casting for which a particular attention was given to the solvent selection to preserve SNPs morphology as evidenced by transmission electron microscopy. Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to highlight the copolymer–SNPs supramolecular interactions mostly via hydrogen bonding. The prepared masterbatch was melt-blended with virgin PLLA and then thin films of PLLA/PDLA-b-PGMA/SNPs nanocomposites (ca. 600 μm) were melt-processed by compression molding. The resulting nanocomposite films were deeply characterized by thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry. Our findings suggest that supramolecular interactions based on stereocomplexation between the PLLA matrix and the PDLA block of the copolymer had a synergetic effect allowing the preservation of SNPs nanoplatelets and their morphology during melt processing. Quartz crystal microbalance and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis suggested a promising potential of the stereocomplex supramolecular approach in tuning PLLA/SNPs water vapor uptake and mechanical properties together with avoiding PLLA/SNPs degradation during melt processing.
  • Chapter
    Antimicrobial packaging encompasses any packaging technique(s) used to control microbial growth in a food product. Antimicrobial packaging can be in the form of a film or coating. Films can be composite and coatings can be applied to the surface of foods. The two purposes for using antimicrobial packaging are to inactivate foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms present in food products, thus enhancing their safety and extending their shelf life. An antimicrobial packaging system consists of three components: (1) Base materials to form film or coating; (2) Antimicrobials to reduce or inhibit microorganisms; and (3) Methods to making and applying films or coatings. In this chapter, we review the various types of antimicrobial food packaging from the currently published literature, summarize the basic materials and methods used for antimicrobial packaging, and also discuss the recent innovations in the research and development of antimicrobial food packaging systems.
  • Article
    Food-borne nanoparticles have received great attention owing to their unique physico-chemical properties and potential health risk. In this study, carbon dots (CDs) formed during one of the most important chemical reactions in food processing field, the Maillard reaction from the model system including glucose and lysine, was investigated. The CDs purified from Maillard reaction products emitted a strong blue fluorescence under ultraviolet light with a fluorescent quantum yield of 16.30%. In addition, they were roughly spherical with sizes of around 4.3 nm and mainly composed of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Their surface groups such as hydroxyl, amino and carboxyl groups were found to possibly enable CDs to scavenge DPPH and hydroxyl radicals. Furthermore, the cytotoxicity assessment of CDs showed that they could readily enter HepG2 cells while caused negligible cell death at low concentration. However, high CDs concentrations were highly cytotoxic and led to cell death via interference of glycolytic pathway.
  • Chapter
    Full-text available
    Nanotechnology delivers emerging applications in functional food by engineering biological and synthetic molecules toward functions that are exceptionally changed from those they have originally. Nanotechnology has enhanced the superiority of foods by making them flavoured, nutritive and more healthier. Nanotechnology generates also novel food products, better packaging, coating and shelf storage techniques. Applications in food also improve shelf life, food quality, safety and fortification. Biosensors in food packaging are designed to detect contaminated or spoiled food. Nanotechnology improve food processes that use enzymes to confer nutrition and health benefits. This report reviews applications of nanotechnology in agriculture, and food science and technology. Furthermore, risk assessment, safety concerns and social implications are discussed.
  • Article
    High population rise and climate changes are increasing issues of agricultural production and food safety. Nanotechnology is finding revolutionary applications to improve agricultural and food systems, notably for better crop production and food preservation. Here we review research, industrial and patent trends of nanoscience in food and agriculture. In a literature survey, we found 44.6% publications in the nano-food research area during the years 2013–2015 and 59.09% publications in the nano-agriculture research area during 2012–2015. USA is leading in the development of nanotechnology firms with a maximum share of 75.5% of the total firms, followed by Germany and France with 8.10 and 4.74%, respectively. USA is leading in the nano-food research with 22 granted patents, whereas China is placed first in nano-agriculture research with 28 granted patents during assessment years 2011–2015. Nano-food research focused mainly on nano-food packaging with 76.84% contributions, whereas in nano-agriculture research, focus has been on nano-fertilizers with 90% contributions. Germany, France, Korea, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovak republic have more than 20% of dedicated nanotechnology firms. A growth of about 45% in nano-food patents has been observed for USA during 2011–2015, and China is leading in the nano-agriculture patents with an increase of 60.7% during 2012–2015.
  • Book
    While nutraceuticals were verified to be expedient, they often lack stability, bioavailability, and permeability, and nano-nutraceuticals are being developed to afford a solution to the problem. Nanotechnology in Nutraceuticals: Production to Consumption delves into the promises and prospects of the application of nanotechnology to nutraceuticals, addressing concepts, techniques, and production methods. Nutraceuticals retain less stability, efficacy, and bioavailability when entering the human body. To overcome such problems, nanotechnology shows promise when applied as a tool to improve the quality and stability of nutraceuticals. This book discusses metallic nanoparticles and their applications in the food industry with specific application to nutraceuticals. It includes detailed discussion on potential functional properties of nutraceuticals with regard to antimicrobial activity, anti-inflammatory activity, and anti-cancer activity. Since nanoparticles can be toxic past a certain limit, implementing nanotechnology under thoughtful regulations is considered critical. The book addresses these issues with chapters covering the principles for the oversight of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials in nutraceuticals, the implications of regulatory requirements, the ethics and economics of nano-nutraceuticals, and consumer acceptance of nanotechnology based foods.
  • Article
    Micro/nano-sized bamboo fibrils (MBF) and a modified soy protein resin were used to fabricate environmentally friendly composites. With the incorporation of MBF the fracture stress and Young’s modulus of the soy protein concentrate (SPC) increased significantly. With the addition of 30 parts of MBF (SPC is 100 parts, based on weight), the fracture stress and Young’s modulus were increased from 20.2MPa to 59.3MPa and from 596MPa to 1816MPa, respectively. The addition of MBF, however, did not show significant decrease in the fracture strain of the specimens. As a result, the toughness of the MBF reinforced SPC increased. The toughness of the SPC based composites containing 30 parts of MBF was 6.0MPa compared to 2.7MPa for SPC without MBF. MBF reinforced SPC was then cross-linked using a silane, (3-isocyanatopropyl)triethoxysilane (ITES). Although the fracture strength and Young’s modulus did not show significant increase, the modification using ITES showed significant increase in the fracture toughness. SPC containing 30 parts of MBF, 10 parts of ITES and 2 parts of glycerol showed fracture stress of 82MPa, Young’s modulus of around 3.2GPa and toughness of 4.3MPa. The environment-friendly, fully biodegradable green composites, based on MBF and modified SPC resins, have excellent properties and great potential to replace the traditional petroleum-based materials in many applications.
  • Nanotechnology in plastics packaging
    • A Garland
    Garland, A. (Ed.)., (2004). Nanotechnology in plastics packaging. Commercial applications in nanotechnology. UK: Pira Interna-tional Limited.
  • Opinion the 21st list of substances for food contact materials
    • Dfid
    DFID (2008). Department for international development (UK), Research strategy 2008-2013. http://webarchive.nationalarchives. gov.uk/þ/http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Documents/publications/ research-strategy-08.pdf EFSA (2008). Opinion the 21st list of substances for food contact materials. The EFSA Journal, 2008, 888e890. http://www.efsa. europa.eu/en/scdocs/doc/888.pdf, 1e14.
  • Committee on World Food Security. The importance of food quality and safety for developing countries. Twenty-fifth session
    EFSA (2009). The potential risks arising from nanoscience and nanotechnologies on food and feed safety. The EFSA Journal, 958, 1e39. http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/scdocs/doc/958.pdf FAO (1997). Street foods. FAO food and nutrition paper. Report of an FAO Technical Meeting on Street Foods, Calcutta, India, 6e9 November 1995, ISBN 92-5-003959-X. http://www.doh.gov.za/ department/foodcontrol/streetfood/10.pdf FAO (1999). Committee on World Food Security. The importance of food quality and safety for developing countries. Twenty-fifth session, Rome, 31 May-3 June 1999. http://www.fao.org/docrep/ meeting/x1845e.htm
  • US-FDA. Food ingredients and Packaging: Guidance for industry
    • Fda
    FDA (2011). US-FDA. Food ingredients and Packaging: Guidance for industry. http://www.fda.gov/Food/ GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/ GuidanceDocuments/FoodIngredientsandPackaging. (accessed 5th January 2011).
  • Book
    Product Information About The Product Providing a truly global overview of legislation in all major countries, this practical volume contains the information vital for manufactures of food contact materials and food producers, facilitating a comparison of the requirements and making mutual requirements easier to identify. It covers not only plastics but also other food contact materials, such as paper, board, coatings, ceramics, cork, rubber, and textiles.
  • Book
    Food and beverages can be very aggressive chemical milieu and may interact strongly with materials that they touch. Whenever food is placed in contact with another substance, there is a risk that chemicals from the contact material may migrate into the food. These chemicals may be harmful if ingested in large quantities, or impart a taint or odour to the food, negatively affecting food quality. Food packaging is the most obvious example of a food contact material. As the demand for pre-packaged foods increases, so might the potential risk to consumers from the release of chemicals into the food product. Chemical migration and food contact materials reviews the latest controls and research in this field and how they can be used to ensure that food is safe to eat. Part one discusses the regulation and quality control of chemical migration into food. Part two reviews the latest developments in areas such as exposure estimation and analysis of food contact materials. The final part contains specific chapters on major food contact materials and packaging types, such as recycled plastics, metals, paper and board, multi-layer packaging and intelligent packaging.
  • Article
    The main function of food packaging is to protect and preserve the food, to maintain its quality and safety, and to reduce food waste. Other desirable attributes have come to the fore recently including packaging that is sustainable with a low environmental footprint, is “active” and/or is “intelligent.” As materials and applications of nanotechnologies can help meet these requirements, they are rapidly becoming a commercial reality in the area of food packaging. Example applications include the enhancement of mechanical properties to allow development of further light-weight materials, and using nanocomposites or nanocoatings to improve barrier properties. An especially interesting area of application is using nanotechnology products to increase the performance of some biobased and biodegradable materials so that they can be used for a wider range of food applications and not only dry foods. There are also a number of products under development for active packaging – which can release or absorb chemicals – or as intelligent (smart) packaging materials that incorporate nano-sensors. Consequently, nanotechnology products and applications could revolutionise some areas of the food packaging sector, providing innovative, sustainable, strong, lightweight and active and intelligent materials. Market uptake will however be impeded by any uncertainties on consumer and environmental safety. Based on theoretical considerations, and the results of limited testing that has been carried out so far, the expectation is that due to the fixed or embedded nature of nanomaterials in plastics, they are not likely to pose a significant risk to the consumer. However, further research addressing the safety issues of nanotechnologies is needed.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    A physicochemical perspective on the potential migration of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) from packaging to food is presented, based on evaluation of the average distance travelled by ENPs in the polymer matrix. The study has taken into account physicochemical properties of both ENPs and packaging polymers. From the properties, some general characteristics underpinning ENP migration can be predicted. The results indicate that any detectable migration of ENPs from packaging to food will take place in the case of very small ENPs with a radius in the order of 1 nm, from polymer matrices that have a relatively low dynamic viscosity, and that do not interact with the ENPs. These conditions are likely to be met in the case of nanocomposites of silver with polyolefines (LDPE, HDPE, PP). It can also be predicted that there will not be any appreciable migration in the case of bigger ENPs, that are bound in polymer matrices with a relatively high dynamic viscosity such as polystyrene and polyethylene terephtalate.
  • Migration of engineered nanoparticles from polymer packaging to food -a physicochemical view Luffa Cylindrica as a lig-nocellulosic source of fiber, microfibrillated cellulose, and cellu-lose nanocrystals Microfibrillated cellulose and new nanocomposite materials: a review
    • P Simon
    • Q Chaudhry
    • D G Bakos
    • J Bras
    • A Dufresne
    Simon, P., Chaudhry, Q., & Bakos, D. (2008). Migration of engineered nanoparticles from polymer packaging to food -a physicochemical view. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 47, 105e113. Siqueira, G., Bras, J., & Dufresne, A. (2010). Luffa Cylindrica as a lig-nocellulosic source of fiber, microfibrillated cellulose, and cellu-lose nanocrystals. Bioresources, 5, 727e740. Siro, I., & Plackett, D. (2010). Microfibrillated cellulose and new nanocomposite materials: a review. Cellulose, 17, 459e494.
  • Article
    Wheat and rye bread artificially inoculated with molds were packed in modified atmospheres of 0%, 50%, 75%, or 100% CO2 balanced with N2, and 3 levels of residual O2, 1%, 0.03%, or <0.01%/O2-absorber, and stored for 30 to 35 d. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) was quantitatively more effective for rye bread because fewer mold species grew at elevated CO2. However, the major rye bread contaminant, Penicillium roqueforti, was the overall most CO2-resistant mold and only the use of O2-absorber could prevent growth of this species. On wheat bread, the most CO2-tolerant mold was Penicillium commune, growing in 99% CO2 (with high residual O2), and Aspergillus flavus was the mold species that grew at lowest O2 in 75% CO2 treatment. The spoilage yeast/“chalk mold”Endomyces fibuliger was less affected by the different O2 levels than the true filamentous molds, and none of the tested MAP treatments could prevent growth, but lag-phase was increased with O2-absorber on wheat bread and decreased with 1% residual O2 on rye bread. Experiments with volatile mustard oil showed that A. flavus and Eurotium repens were the most mustard oil-resistant species on wheat and rye bread, respectively. A combination strategy with MAP and mustard oil proved most optimal, and total inhibition was achieved with 2 μL mustard oil/rye bread slice and between 2 and 3 μL/wheat bread. Results indicated that the nature and surface area of the product influences effectiveness of active packaging with mustard oil.
  • Article
    Novel biodegradable starch/clay nanocomposite films, to be used as food packaging, were obtained by homogeneously dispersing montmorillonite nanoparticles in different starch-based materials via polymer melt processing techniques. Structural and mechanical characterizations on the nanocomposite films were performed. The results show, in the case of starch/clay material, a good intercalation of the polymeric phase into clay interlayer galleries, together with an increase of mechanical parameters, such as modulus and tensile strength.Finally the conformity of our samples with actual regulations and European directives on biodegradable materials was verified by migration tests and by putting the films into contact with vegetables and simulants.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Cellulose nanowhiskers were prepared by sulfuric acid hydrolysis from coconut husk fibers which had previously been submitted to a delignification process. The effects of preparation conditions on the thermal and morphological behavior of the nanocrystals were investigated. Cellulose nanowhisker suspensions were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and X-ray diffraction. Results showed that it was possible to obtain ultrathin cellulose nanowhiskers with diameters as low as 5 nm and aspect ratio of up to 60. A possible correlation between preparation conditions and particle size was not observed. Higher residual lignin content was found to increase thermal stability indicating that by controlling reaction conditions one can tailor the thermal properties of the nanowhiskers.
  • Article
    Abstract Due to their abundance, high strength and stiffness, low weight and biodegradability, nano-scale cellulose fiber materials (e.g., microfibrillated cellulose and bacterial cellulose) serve as promising candidates for bio-nanocomposite production. Such new high-value materials are the subject of continuing research and are commercially interesting in terms of new products from the pulp and paper industry and the agricultural sector. Cellulose nanofibers can be extracted from various plant sources and, although the mechanical separation of plant fibers into smaller elementary constituents has typically required high energy input, chemical and/or enzymatic fiber pre-treatments have been developed to overcome this problem. A challenge associated with using nanocellulose in composites is the lack of compatibility with hydrophobic polymers and various chemical modification methods have been explored in order to address this hurdle. This review summarizes progress in nanocellulose preparation with a particular focus on microfibrillated cellulose and also discusses recent developments in bio-nanocomposite fabrication based on nanocellulose.
  • Article
    Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the main cereals as a source of food, forage and processed products for industry. World production is around 790 million tonnes of maize because as a staple food it provides more than one-third of the calories and proteins in some countries. Stored maize is a man-made ecosystem in which quality and nutritive changes occur because of interactions between physical, chemical and biological factors. Fungal spoilage and mycotoxin contamination are of major concern. Aspergillus and Fusarium species can infect maize pre-harvest, and mycotoxin contamination can increase if storage conditions are poorly managed. Prevention strategies to reduce the impact of mycotoxin in maize food and feed chains are based on using a hazard analysis critical control point systems (HACCP) approach. To reduce or prevent production of mycotoxins, drying should take place soon after harvest and as rapidly as feasible. The critical water content for safe storage corresponds to a water activity (a(w)) of about 0.7. Problems in maintaining an adequately low a(w) often occur in the tropics where high ambient humidity make the control of commodity moisture difficult. Damage grain is more prone to fungal invasion and, therefore, mycotoxin contamination. It is important to avoid damage before and during drying, and during storage. Drying maize on the cob before shelling is a very good practice. In storage, many insect species attack grain and the moisture that can accumulate from their activities provides ideal conditions for fungal activity. To avoid moisture and fungal contamination, it is essential that the numbers of insects in stored maize should be kept to a minimum. It is possible to control fungal growth in stored commodities by controlled atmospheres, preservatives or natural inhibitors. Studies using antioxidants, essential oils under different conditions of a(w), and temperature and controlled atmospheres have been evaluated as possible strategies for the reduction of fungal growth and mycotoxin (aflatoxins and fumonisins) in stored maize, but the cost of these treatments is likely to remain prohibitive for large-scale use.
  • Article
    In this work the annual plant called Luffa cylindrica (LC) has been characterized and used to prepare macroscopic lignocellulosic fibers and cellulosic nanoparticles, viz. microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and whiskers, each of which can be used as a reinforcing phase in bionanocomposites. The morphological, chemical, and physical properties of LC fibers were first characterized. The contents of lignin, hemicellulose, and other constituents were determined, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations were performed to investigate the surface morphology of the LC fibers. Sugars contents were determined by ionic chromatography, and it was shown that glucose was the main sugar present in the residue. MFC and whiskers were prepared after chemical treatments (NaOH and NaClO2), purifying cellulose by eliminating lignin and hemicellulose. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and SEM made it possible to determine the dimensions of LC whiskers and MFC. Tensile tests were carried out to investigate the mechanical properties of LF nanoparticles.
  • Article
    There is an increasing concern over the safety of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) to humans and the environment and it is likely that the environmental risks of these particles will have to be tested under regulatory schemes such as REACH. Due to their unique properties and the fact that their detection and characterisation in complex matrices is challenging, existing analytical methods and test approaches for assessing environmental risk may not be appropriate for ENPs. In this article we discuss the challenges associated with the testing of ENPs to generate data on persistence, mobility, bioavailability and ecotoxicity in the environment. It is essential that careful consideration is given to the selection of the test material, the test system (including test vessels and study media) and the test exposure conditions. During a study it is critical that not only the concentration of the ENP is determined but also its characteristics (e.g. size, shape, degree of aggregation and dissolution). A range of analytical techniques is available including microscopy-based approaches (e.g transmission and scanning electron microscopy), dynamic light scattering, and size separation approaches (e.g. field flow fractionation and hydrodynamic chromatography) coupled to detection methods such as inductively coupled plasma MS. All of these have their disadvantages: some are unable to distinguish between ENPs and natural interferences; some techniques require sample preparation approaches that can introduce artefacts; and others are complex and time-consuming. A combination of techniques is therefore needed. Our knowledge in this area is still limited, and co-ordinated research is required to gain a better understanding of the factors and processes affecting ENP fate and effects in the environment as well as to develop more usable, robust and sensitive methods for characterisation and detection of ENPs in environmental systems.
  • Article
    Polymeric nanoparticles covalently functionalized with derivatized D-mannose molecules were synthesized and characterized. These nanoparticles have an average size of approximately 160 nm in diameter, thus bearing a large number of surface-tethered mannose moieties for multivalent interactions with adhesins on bacterial cells. Specifically, the mannosylated nanoparticles bind strongly with Escherichia coli, allowing the convenient visualization of adhesion interactions under a conventional electron microscope. Since a single nanoparticle is capable of binding more than one cell, the adhesion interactions result in significant nanoparticle-mediated cell agglutination according to electron microscopy imaging. Potential applications of the mannosylated nanoparticles in the inhibition of enteropathogenic infections are discussed.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    A review of current and projected nanotechnology-derived food ingredients, food additives and food contact materials is presented in relation to potential implications for consumer safety and regulatory controls. Nanotechnology applications are expected to bring a range of benefits to the food sector, including new tastes, textures and sensations, less use of fat, enhanced absorption of nutrients, improved packaging, traceability and security of food products. The review has shown that nanotechnology-derived food and health food products are set to grow worldwide and, moreover, a variety of food ingredients, additives, carriers for nutrients/supplements and food contact materials is already available in some countries. The current level of applications in the European food sector is at an elementary stage; however, it is widely expected that more and more products will be available in the EU over the coming years. The toxicological nature of hazard, likelihood of exposure and risk to consumers from nanotechnology-derived food/food packaging are largely unknown and this review highlights major gaps in knowledge that require further research. A number of uncertainties and gaps in relevant regulatory frameworks have also been identified and ways of addressing them proposed.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Nanotechnology is developing rapidly and, in the future, it is expected that increasingly more products will contain some sort of nanomaterial. However, to date, little is known about the occurrence, fate and toxicity of nanoparticles. The limitations in our knowledge are partly due to the lack of methodology for the detection and characterisation of engineered nanoparticles in complex matrices, i.e. water, soil or food. This review provides an overview of the characteristics of nanoparticles that could affect their behaviour and toxicity, as well as techniques available for their determination. Important properties include size, shape, surface properties, aggregation state, solubility, structure and chemical composition. Methods have been developed for natural or engineered nanomaterials in simple matrices, which could be optimized to provide the necessary information, including microscopy, chromatography, spectroscopy, centrifugation, as well as filtration and related techniques. A combination of these is often required. A number of challenges will arise when analysing environmental and food materials, including extraction challenges, the presence of analytical artifacts caused by sample preparation, problems of distinction between natural and engineered nanoparticles and lack of reference materials. Future work should focus on addressing these challenges.