Food Manufacturers Considering The Use of Nanotechnology
Researchers and scientists in the food manufacturing industry are considering the advantages of using nanotechnology in their life. This may sound like science fiction to some, but many researchers already believe that nanotechnology could greatly improve the overall taste and flavor of food, as well as offer other substantial benefits. Although, like most new concepts in the food industry, the FDA is keeping a close eye on the development of nanotechnology.
First and foremost, lets cover what nanotechnology is exactly. In science fiction movies and film, it’s oftentimes portrayed as microscopic robots used to battle enemies and wreck havoc on the world. This isn’t entirely true, but it’s not completely false either. Nanotechnology is defined as the manipulation of matter on an atomic or molecular level. Most matter can be easily seen under a microscope, but nanotechnology is actually too small for a human to view it through any traditional microscope.
Researchers believe one of the greatest advantages to using nanotechnology in food would be the increase and manipulation of flavor. By adding and dispersing atomic-sized flavoring matter, practically any food could have its flavor dramatically changed without altering the physical properties of it. For instance, manufacturers could inject a cooked chicken with nanotechnology molecules to give it a lemon pepper taste, BBQ or honey taste.
The benefits of nanotechnology in the food industry doesn’t end with flavoring, though. It could also be used to increase the shelf life of certain foods by reducing the amount of oxygen in it. A jar of peanut butter could have nanotechnology molecules placed in it which helped reduce its oxygen content. With less oxygen, the peanut butter will have a longer shelf life. In addition, researchers believe they can use nanotechnology to use anti-bacterial technology to help fend off food-borne illnesses.
Currently, there are no FDA regulations governing the use of nanotechnology in the food industry. However, the FDA has stated they are aware of the development of such technology and are keeping a watchful eye on it. The use of nanotechnology is also being seen in other areas, such as sunscreen and sun tan oil. One of the greatest concerns surrounding its use in these products is the possibility of it being absorbed by the skin.
The fact is that we simply don’t know how nanotechnology will affect the food industry. Researchers seem to have promising results already, but until thorough testing is done, we simply wont have an accurate portrayal of what possible complications may arise from nanotechnology.