Applications of Nanotechnology in Food Packaging and Food Safety (Barrier materials, Antimicrobials and Sensors)


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Over the past few decades the evolution of a number of science disciplines and technologies have revolutionized food and processing sector. Most notable among these are biotechnology, information technology etc… and recently nanotechnology which is now constantly growing in the field of food production, processing, packaging, preservation, and development of functional foods. Food packaging is considered as one of the earliest commercial application of nanotechnology in food sector. Around more than 400 Nanopackaging products are available for commercial use. In 2008, nanotechnology demanded over $15 billion in worldwide research and development money (public and private) and employed over 400,000 researchers across the globe (Roco, M. C. et al. 2010). Nanotechnologies are projected to impact at least $3 trillion across the global economy by 2020, and nanotechnology industries worldwide may require at least 6 million workers to support them by the end of the decade (Roco, M. C. et al. 2010). Scientists and industry stakeholders have already identified potential uses of nanotechnology in virtually every segment of the food industry from agriculture (e.g., pesticide, fertilizer or vaccine delivery; animal and plant pathogen detection; and targeted genetic engineering) to food processing (e.g., encapsulation of flavor or odor enhancers; food textural or quality improvement; new gelation or viscosifying agents) to food packaging (e.g., pathogen, gas or abuse sensors; anticounterfeiting devices, UV-protection, and stronger, more impermeable polymer films) to nutrient supplements (e.g., nutraceuticals with higher stability and bioavailability). Undeniably, the most active area of food nanoscience research and development is packaging: the global nano-enabled food and beverage packaging market was 4.13 billion US dollars in 2008 and has been projected to grow to 7.3 billion by 2014, representing an annual growth rate of 11.65% ( is likely connected to the fact that the public has been shown in some studies to be more willing to embrace nanotechnology in ‘out of food’ applications than those where nanoparticles are directly added to foods.

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Applications of Nanotechnology in Food Packaging and Food Safety (Barrier materials, Antimicrobials and Sensors)

  1. 1. 1IRSHAD A.Roll No: 5188M.V.Sc. ScholarDivision of Livestock Product TechnologyEmail:-
  2. 2. Nanotechnology
  3. 3. Overview1. Introduction2. History3. Applications4. PolymerNanocomposites5. Nano-coatings6. Surface biocides7. Active packaging8. IntelligentPackaging9. Nano sensors10.Bio-plastics11.Safety issues.Nanotechnology
  4. 4. IntroductionPackagingScientific method of enclosing foodmaterial/goods in a container and it ensure the deliveryof goods to the ultimate consumer in the best conditionindented for their use. (Robertson, G. L.,2005)Nanotechnology
  5. 5. Functions of Packaging Containment Protection Convenient CommunicationNanotechnology
  6. 6. DefinitionsNanoscienceStudy of phenomena and manipulation of materials atatomic, molecular, and macromolecular scales, hereproperties differ significantly from those at a larger scale.(Michael, J. 2004)NanotechnologyInvolves the characterization, fabrication and/ ormanipulation of structures, devices or materials that have atleast one dimension is approximately 1–100 nm in length.(Dancan, T. V. 2011)Nanotechnology
  7. 7. What is a Nanomaterial• At least one dimension is 1-100nm length(Dancan, T. V. 2011)• Substance having specific surface area 60m2/g.(Scenihr.,2009)• Materials with dimension 100nm to atomic level(0.2nm)(UK Royal Society of Engineering)Nanotechnology
  8. 8. Nanotechnology
  9. 9. HistoryFather of NanotechnologyRichard Feynman“There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom”December 29, 1959Nobel Prize in Physics 1965Nanotechnology
  10. 10. • 1974 NarioTaniguchi uses term"nano-technology”.• 1985 Bucky ball discovered.(Harry Kroto wonthe 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along withRichard Smalley and Robert Curl )• 1986 K. Eric Drexler developed and popularizedthe concept of nanotechnology and founded thefield of molecular nanotechnology.Nanotechnology
  11. 11. (Duncan, V. T., 2011)Nanotechnology
  12. 12. Most attractive area of food Nano-scienceresearch and development is- PACKAGING2008 2014$4.13 billion $7.3 billionAnnual growth rate 11.65%www.innoresearch.netNanotechnology
  13. 13. Application of Nano-materials inPackaging1. Polymer Nanocomposites2.. Nano-coatings3.Surface biocides4.Active packaging5.Intelligent Packaging6. Bio-plastics(Bradley, E.L. 2011)Nanotechnology
  14. 14. 1. Polymer Nano-compositesIncorporating nanomaterials into thepackaging polymer to improve physicalperformance, durability, barrier properties, andbiodegradation. (Bradley, E.L. 2011)NanotechnologyPolymer Matrix + Nanomaterials= PNCs
  16. 16. Polymer used in food packaging1. Polyolefins Polypropylene(PP) Polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE, etc.),2. Polyethylene terephthalate(PET),3. Polystyrene (PS)4. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC).……………………….. Strength and stiffness, Barrier to oxygen andMoisture Resistance to foodcomponent attack flexibility.………………………...Nanotechnology
  17. 17. Critical IssueMigration PermeabilityNanotechnology
  18. 18. • PET, provides a good barrier to oxygen (O2 permeability= 6–8 nmol/ m1 s1 GPa1) , but highly permeable for watervapour• Density polyethylene (HDPE) fares much worse (O2permeability = 200–400 nmol/ m1 s1 GPa1) But HDPEoffers a significantly better barrier against water vapor thanPET.• In some applications, high barriers to migration or gasdiffusion are undesirable( Eg:-fresh fruits and vegetables)• High oxygen and carbon dioxide barriers is necessary(Eg:-Plastics utilized for carbonated beverage containers)(Finnigan, B. et al 2009)Nanotechnology
  19. 19. Polymer nanocomposites (PNCs)• Filler are1. Clay and silicatenanoplatelets, (Duncan, T. V 2011 )2. Silica (sio2)nanoparticles, (Wu, C.L. et al.2002)3. Carbon nanotubes(Zhou, X. et al. 2007)4. Graphene(Ramanadhan, t. et al. 2008)5. Starch nanocrystals(Chen, Y. et al. 2008)6. Cellulose-based Nanofibersor nanowhiskers(Azeredo, H.M.C et al. 2010)7. chitin or chitosannanoparticles.(Lu, Y. et al. 2004)8. Other inorganics.(Yang. Y et al 2008)PNCs are created by dispersing an inert, Nano scale fillerthroughout a polymeric matrix.Nanotechnology
  20. 20. Properties of PNCs• Enhance polymer barrier properties;• Stronger ;• More flame resistant;• Possess better thermal properties (E:- Melting points,degradation and glass transition temperatures) thancontrol polymers which contain no nanoscale filler;• Alterations in surface wettability and hydrophobicity.(Ray, S.S. et al 2003, Kojima, al.1993)Nanotechnology
  21. 21. Permeability of PNCs• The permeability to gasses isdetermined by• Adsorption rate of gasmolecules into the matrix atthe atmosphere/polymerboundary• Diffusion rate of adsorbedgas molecules through thematrix.(Mercera, P. et al. 2008)Outside of packageInside of packageNanotechnology
  22. 22. The adsorption rate is generallydependent on• Free volume hole sizes,• Degree of polymer motion,• Specific polymer–polymer Polymer–gasinteractions.• Temperature and pressureOverall gas diffusion rete is directlydependant on the film thickness.Permeability of PNCs (cont…)Intrinsic polymerChemistryExtrinsic propertyNanotechnology
  23. 23. 1. MEAN PATH LENGTH FOR GAS DIFFUSIONHow PNCs increase barrierproperties?(Nielsen, L.E. et al. 2007)Nanotechnology
  24. 24. 2. CHANGES TO THE POLYMER MATRIX ITSELFBeall theory- Polymer clay interface theoryPermeability of PNCs (cont…) Free volume holes, Altered density. Size of holes,Nanotechnology
  25. 25. Polymer Nanoclays and Silicates(PNCs)Nanoplatelets composed of clays or other silicatematerialsPopularity is due toMontmorillonite (MMT)[(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2.nH2O)] Low cost, Effectiveness, High stability, Benignity.(Mc Adam, C. P. 2009)Nanotechnology
  26. 26. (Carrado, C. M. 2003)Nanotechnology
  27. 27. • Kaolinite, hectrite and saponite can also be used inPNC applications.• Water vapor permeabilities of various PNCs (in gmm m-2 day-1)Polyamide Polyimide nanocomposites containing2 wt.% ofVirgin polymer hectrite, saponite, montmorillonite Synthetic mica12.9 12.3 10 5.86 1.16(Yano, K. et al. 1997)NanotechnologyThe first successful example of a polymer–clay nanocomposite(PCNC) was a nylon-6 MMT hybrid material developed bythe Toyota Corporation in 1986.(Kawasumi, M. 2003)
  28. 28. Method Preparation of PNCs• In situ polymerization (Kojima, et al 1999)• Solution method (Ray, S.S. et al. 2003)• Latex method (Takahashi, S et al. 2006)• Melt processing (Vaia, R.A. et al. 1993)• Commonly used,• More economical,• More flexible formation,• Complete exfoliation of clay particle. (Picard, E.V. et al.2007)
  29. 29. (Vaia, R.A. et al. 1993)
  30. 30. 2. Nano-coatings• Incorporating nanomaterials onto the packaging surface(either the inside or the outside surface, or a sandwichedas a layer in a laminate) to improve especially the barrierproperties.• Using nano-thin coatings (polymer + nanoparticles) canhelp provide enhanced barrier performance.• Vacuum-deposited aluminium coatings on plastic films.• Coating of the surfaces of glass food and beveragecontainers (bottles, jars) with organosilanes.(Smolander and choudhary 2010)Nanotechnology
  31. 31. Nano-silica material is coated on base plastic filmssuch as PET, OPP, OPA (Nylon) etc.Food Packaging (can replace PVDC CoatedFilms, Oxide Evaporated films)- Processed Meat products (Beef Jerky, Rare Meat,Sausage, Ham, etc.)- Fresh Food like Rare fish, Sushi, Dried Fish, etc.- Processed milk products (Cheese, etc)- Bakery (Soft cake, Sandwich, Snack, Candy, etc. )- Nut Products with high FATNano-Silica Coated High OxygenBarrier FilmsNanotechnology(Smolander and choudhary 2010)
  32. 32. Features- Excellent Oxygen and moisture barrier,- shelf life of packaged food increases, and hence the production cost canbe decreased.- Aroma Preservataion,- Transparent,- Good printablility and Laminating machinability,- Eco-friendly (No emission of dioxin when burnt)- Time-invariant transparency,- Excellent mechanical and optical property (Retains the properties andcharacteristics of base films).Nano-Silica Coated High OxygenBarrier Films (cont…)Nanotechnology
  33. 33. Nano-Silica Coated High Oxygen Barrier Nylon (OPA)Films for Food PackagingNanotechnology
  34. 34. 3. Surface Biocides• Incorporating nanomaterials with antimicrobial propertieson the packaging surface of packaging material.• Used to maintain the hygienic condition of the foodcontact surface by preventing or reducing microbial growthand helping ‘cleanability’.• Common in some reusable food containers such as boxesand crates and the inside liners of refrigerators and freezersalso.Nanotechnology
  35. 35. • Have a very high ratio of surface area to mass.Chemicals commonly used area) Nano silver ( in the form of metallic silver(Ag), AgNO3, etc.)b) Zinc oxidec) Titanium dioxide (TiO2)d) Magnesium oxideSurface Biocides (cont…)Nanotechnology
  36. 36. Antimicrobial activity ofNanoparticles• Activity related to several mechanisms.1. Directly interact with the microbial cells,a. Interrupting trans-membrane electron transfer,b. Disrupting/penetrating the cell envelope,c. Oxidizing cell components,2. By produce secondary productsa. Reactive oxygen species (ROS)b. Dissolved heavy metal ions(Li et al., 2008)Nanotechnology
  37. 37. Mechanism of ActionNanotechnology
  38. 38. Nanomaterial with Titanium Oxide• Non-toxic and has been approved by the AmericanFood and Drug Administration (FDA)• Bactericidal and fungicidal effects• Act against E. coli, Salmonella choleraesuis, Vibrioparahaemolyticus, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonasaeruginosa, Stayphylococcus aureus, Diaporthe actinidiae andPenicillium expansum.(Chawengkijwanich & Hayata, 2008)Nanotechnology
  39. 39. • Can efficiently kill on contact both Grampositive andGram-negative bacteria . (Jones et al., 2008).• Nano-ZnO coated films exhibits antimicrobial effectsagainst L.monocytogenes and S.enteritidis in liquid eggwhite and in culture media packaging. (Jin et al., 2009)• Currently listed by FDA as a generally recognized assafe (GRAS) material.Nanomaterial with ZnONanotechnology
  40. 40. 4. Active Nano-packagingIncorporating nanomaterials with antimicrobial or otherproperties (e.g. antioxidant) with intentional release into- andconsequent effect on the packaged food. (E.L. Bradley et al.2011)1. Antimicrobial agents like AgNPs , magnesium oxide ,copper andcopper oxide, zinc oxide, cadmium selenide/telluride, chitosan and carbonnanotubes are used.• Ultrasonically dispersed TiO2 nanoparticles throughout EVOH films andobserved their effective photo-activated biocidal properties againstmicroorganisms (bacteria and yeasts)(Kim, B. et al.2003)Nanotechnology
  41. 41. Active Nano-packaging (cont…)• AgNPs being incorporated into cellulose pads for use in modifiedatmosphere packaging of fresh beef( Fernandaz, A. et al., 2010)2. Oxygen Scavenging Materials• Food deterioration by indirect action of O2 includes food spoilage by aerobicmicroorganisms.(Xiao-e, Green, Haque, Mills, & Durrant, 2004).• Oxygen scavenger films were successfully developed by Xiao-e et al. (2004), byadding Titania nanoparticles to different polymers.Nanotechnology
  42. 42. 5.Intelligent PackagingIncorporating nanosensors to monitor and report on thecondition of the food.• They are able to respond environmental changes inside thepackage( Temperature, humidity and level of oxygenexposure)• Nanosensers communicate the degradation of product ormicrobial contamination. ( Bouwmeester et al., 2009)• Also give the history of storage and period of storage.Nanotechnology
  43. 43. Nanosensors in Packaging• Nanosensors can detect certain chemicalcompounds, pathogens,and toxins in food,• Eliminate the need for inaccurate expiration dates,• Providing real-time status of food freshness(Liao, Chen, & Subramanian, 2005).Eg. Ripesense, onvu(,
  44. 44. Nanosensors in PackagingNanotechnology
  45. 45. Examples ofNanosensors in Packaging1.Noninvasive gas sensers-(Mills, A. et al. 2005)• Photoactivated indicator ink for in-package oxygen detection based upon Nanosized TiO2 or SnO2 particles and a redox-active dye (methylene blue).2. Sensor for moisture content- (Luechinger, N. al., 2007)• Based upon carbon-coated copper nanoparticles dispersed in a tenside film.3. Carbon dioxide content in MAPs- (McEvoy, A.K. et al. 2002)• Based upon analysis of luminescent dyes standardized by fluorophore-encapsulated polymer Nano beadsNanotechnology
  46. 46. (
  47. 47. Nanotechnology
  48. 48. http://www.nextnature.netNanotechnology
  49. 49. 6. Bio-plastics• Biodegradable polymers, which meet all criteria ofscientifically recognized norms for biodegradability andcompostability.• Renewable biomass source, such as vegetable oil, corn-starch, potato- starch or microbia, rather than fossil- fuelplastics which are derived from petroleum.• Polylactic Acid (PLA) plastics• Polyamides 11 (Cabedo, et al. 2005)Nanotechnology
  50. 50. Advantages• Increase the gas and vapour barrier properties,• Better biodegradability,• Increase the mechanical properties and thermal stability,• Efficient antioxidant, oxygen scavenging orantimicrobial bio packaging,• Increased foods quality and safety(Garcia, S. et al. 2007)Nanotechnology
  51. 51. Nanotechnology
  52. 52. Possible migration into food and drinks causing a toxicologicalrisk. Fate in the environment after disposal of the packaging. Fate during recovery and recycling to make ‘new’ packagingmaterials.Safety IssuesFood safety and qualityand impact onconsumersEnvironmentalimpactNanotechnology
  53. 53. Uncertainties in consumer safetyand environmental safety.• Lack of understanding on how to evaluate the potentialhazard of nanomaterials by the oral (food) route.• Lack of tools to use to estimate exposure.• Possibility that the high surface area and active surfacechemistry of some nanomaterials could give rise tounwanted chemical reactions.• Lack of understanding on the impact of nanomaterials inwaste disposal streams.Nanotechnology
  54. 54. TechnologyNanocomposite BiocidesAntimicrobialpackagingSensorsApplicationsImprovedperformanceActivepackagingBetterIndicationTechnological effectsImproved foodquality and safetyIncreasedCommunicationImpactsConsumer preferenceSustainabilityFeasibility
  55. 55. Nanotechnology