Not much research is being put into the use of nanotechnology in food but there is much potential in this branch of the science. There is a lot of general speculation about how nanotechnology can be used in our food products from ways to add different flavours, to more futuristic ideas like developing foods that can change in response to your nutritional needs or taste preferences.
On the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies list of the 609 known nano-products there are only three foods; a brand of canola cooking oil called Canola Active Oil, a tea called Nanotea and a chocolate diet shake called Nanoceuticals Slim Shake Chocolate.The company producing the canola oil, Shemen Industries of Israel, claims it contains preservatives called “nanodrops” which carry vitamins and minerals throughout the digestive system. The maker of the milkshake, RBC Life Sciences Inc of the USA, uses “nanoclusters” to enhance the taste and health benefits found in cocoa without the added sugar.
The most common use of nanotechnology in the household is cleaning products. The tiny nanoparticles in cleaning products allows you to be able to clean off all of the things that you need to remove such as dirt and food remains in a simple but effective way. Nanoceramic particles have improved the heat resistance and smoothness of commonly used household items such as irons and hair straightening tools.
Nanotech (left) / Regular (right)
Cosmetics and Self Care
Sunscreen contains titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) which block out ultraviolet light that comes from the sun. As we know, the whiter the sunscreen means the stronger it is at blocking light. But by breaking down the TiO2 and ZnO to nano sized particles, the cream becomes transparent when applied to the skin allowing you to get the same amount of protection for your skin without being covered in white cream. This form of nanotechnology is also used in lotions and moisturisers.
Another common use of nanotech is using silver nanoparticles in personal care products. The silver nanoparticles are very effective at breaking down and killing bacteria. The particles are used throughout the world to maintain cleanliness in body care products such as hair brushes, tooth brushes, electric razors, hair dryers, hearing aid, foot massagers and make up instruments.