Experimenters at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Andhra Pradesh have created nanotechnology-based food packaging materials that improve shelf-life, sustain quality, maintain flavor and color of packed food materials.
Nanoparticle-based materials show a more significant advantage over traditional and non-biodegradable packing materials by improving the functional properties of foodstuffs, such as bio-availability, taste, and texture.
In the paper, issued in the peer-reviewed Journal of European Food Research and Technology, the group highlighted the role of nanoparticles to deliver mechanical stability to the packing material and demonstrated how the nano-sensors could be created to detect pathogens, contamination, pesticides, and allergens and improve the antimicrobial properties of packing material to prevent food spoilage and contamination.
“In extra to this, the function of inorganic nanoparticles in food preservation is to boost shelf-life and release of antioxidants shielding the food from toxic ultraviolet radiations. The analysis also concerns the food safety factors related to nanomaterials and pursues eco-friendly practices such as correct labeling on the food articles, following safety regulation for dumping, to complete cytotoxic studies on humans and animals,” said Dr. Tingirikari Jagan Mohan Rao, Assistant Professor, Department of Biotechnology, NIT Andhra Pradesh, in a statement.
Further, the paper also examined the function of various government agents in managing the safety issues, getting the legislation and regulations on the use and application of nanomaterials.
It emphasizes how bio-based polymers can be mixed with nanoparticles to make more efficient and effective packing materials.
“Very less amount of work has been done to evaluate the toxic effects of nanoparticles on mammalian cells under in-vivo conditions. Inorganic nanoparticles are insoluble and pose a great challenge of bioaccumulation in human cells, which may cause biotoxicity on a longer run, thus, hampering its use in the food processing industry,” said Dr. Punuri Jayasekhar Babu, Pachhunga University College, Mizoram University, in the statement.
Nanotechnology is an emerging area of investigation. Its application is increasing day by day in various sectors, including food and agriculture, due to its comprehensive physical, chemical, and biological properties functionalized with several biomolecules to enhance the properties of packing and storage materials.
Nanotechnology applications at the global level are estimated to be around $3 trillion.