Nanotechnology Applications for Food Ingredients, Additives and Supplements
This chapter presents a detailed account of the known and under-development applications of nanotechnologies for food ingredients, additives and supplements. It discusses the role of nanostructures and nanomaterials in developing new food textures and tastes. Because of high surface area, a relatively small amount of a nano-sized additive may be sufficient to deliver a much greater perception of a taste or flavour. This may enable a reduction in the amount of salt, fat, and other additives in food, such as artificial colours, flavouring agents, preservatives etc, whilst still offering improved aesthetic, nutritional, and health benefits. Other application areas involve the use of nanomaterials for antimicrobial properties, and nano-sized supplements that are claimed for enhanced uptake and bioavailability in the body. The chapter also discusses the likely translocation, uptake and digestion of nanomaterials in the gastrointestinal tract, and suggests that the use of 'soft’ (soluble, digestible, non-biopersistent) nanomaterials, such as food nanostructures and nano-emulsions, is likely to spearhead the way for nanotechnology innovations in the (health)food sectors.