Edited by Graeme A. Hodge, Diana M. Bowman and Andrew D. Maynard
Chapter 15: Regulatory Perspectives on Nanotechnologies in Foods and Food Contact Materials
Anna Gergely, Qasim Chaudhry and Diana M. Bowman1 15.1 INTRODUCTION The convergence of nanotechnologies with the food sector is anticipated to transform the industry. Significant economic growth is expected from the development and commercialization of processing technologies, nanostructured food ingredients, additives, delivery systems, and a range of food contact materials (FCMs) incorporating nanoparticles (Chaudhry et al., 2008; European Food Safety Authority, 2008). The latter application area makes up ‘the largest share of current and short-term’ predicted markets for nanotechnology applications for the food sector (Cientifica, 2006). Helmut Kaiser Consultancy (2004) has suggested that the nanofood sector will, by the year 2010, be worth in excess of $US20 billion per annum. These purported unrivalled possibilities explain the significant hype surrounding nano-foods at present. Arabe (2002) has, for instance, predicted that future nanotechnology applications will include smart foods utilizing functional encapsulation of active nanoparticles, filters that may modify flavours or remove toxins, and smart packaging that can detect the spoiling of foods. Against this backdrop of industry-driven activities, there is a clear need to determine the extent to which nanotechnology products and applications fall within existing regulatory frameworks, and the adequacy of these frameworks for managing potential risks. This has given rise to a number of governments around the world initiating either in-house or independent reviews. Many of these have either focused on, or at least included within their scope, the impact of nanotechnology in the agri-food sectors (see, for example, Chaudhry et al., 2006; Food Standards Agency, 2008; Ludlow et al...
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