As an industry which places innovation at the forefront, FoodDrinkEurope and its members are interested in science-based research and development, including the application of nanotechnologies and their potential in food production. Nanotechnology in the food industry is at an early stage and, in the future, it could be used to deliver new food products and improve existing ones. It also has potential in processing and packaging, bringing benefits to consumers and industry. Safety comes first and the use of these new technologies will always be based on scientific research, regulatory compliance and consumer acceptance.

EU Projects

There have been several projects on nanotechnology, funded under the Seventh Framework Programme. Not all of them are directly related to the food industry, but they are relevant to understanding the complexities surrounding the technology .These range from projects on engineered nanoparticles and their impact on the human health to research into analysing and characterising engineered nanomaterials. FoodDrinkEurope monitors these projects:

NANODEVICE: Novel concepts, methods, and technologies for the production of portable, easy-to-use devices for the measurement and analysis of airborne engineered nanoparticles in workplace air under NMP-2007-1.3-1

NANOMMUNE: Comprehensive assessment of hazardous effects of engineered nanomaterials on the immune system under NMP-2007-1.3-2.

NANORETOX: The reactivity and toxicity of engineered nanoparticles: Risks to the environment and human health under NMP-2007-1.3-2.

NEURONANO: Towards new generations of neuro-implantable devices: engineering NEUROns/carbon NANOtubes integrated functional units under NMP-2007-1.3-2.

ENRHES: Engineered Nanoparticles: Review of health and environmental safety under NMP-2007-1.3-3.

NHECD: Nano health-environment commented database under NMP-2007-1.3-4. 

NANOIMPACTNET: The European network on the health and environmental impact of nanomaterials under NMP-2007-1.3-5.

NANOTEST: Development of methodology for alternative testing strategies for the assessment of the toxicological profile of nanoparticles used in medical diagnostics under HEALTH-2007-1.3-4.

ENNSATOX: Engineered nanoparticle impact on aquatic environments: Structure, activity and toxicology under NMP-2008-1.3-2.

ENPRA: Risk assessment of engineered nanoparticles under NMP-2008-1.3-2.

HINAMOX: Health impact of engineered metal and metal oxide nanoparticles: Response, bio-imaging and distribution at cellular and body level under NMP-2008-1.3-2.

INLIVETOX: Intestinal, liver and endothelial nanoparticle toxicity development and evaluation of a novel tool for high-throughput data generation under NMP-2008-1.3-2. 

NEPHH: Nanomaterials related environmental pollution and health hazards throughout their life cycle under NMP-2008-1.3-2.

NANOPOLYTOX: Toxicological impact of nanomaterials derived from processing, weathering and recycling of polymer nanocomposites used in various industrial applications under NMP-2009-1.3-1 and ENV.2009.

NANOHOUSE: Life cycle of nanoparticle-based products used in house coating under NMP-2009-1.3-1 and ENV.2009.