Nano Potential in Food Applications

September 21/Amherst, Mass./Food & Farm Week -- "Biopolymer nano- and micro-particles, fabricated from either proteins and/or polysaccharides, can be utilized as delivery systems or to modulate the physicochemical and sensory characteristics of food products. This article reviews the principles underlying the design, fabrication and application of biopolymer particles fabricated from globular proteins, used either alone or in combination with polysaccharides, within the food industry," U.S. scientists report.

"The properties of biopolymer particles and their impact on the physicochemical and functional properties of foods are described. The molecular characteristics and interactions of the building blocks (proteins and polysaccharides) used to assemble these particles are briefly reviewed. The major structural design principles that can be used to fabricate biopolymer particles from food-grade proteins and polysaccharides are outlined," wrote O.G. Jones and colleagues, University of Massachusetts.

The researchers concluded, "Finally, some of the potential applications of functional biopolymer particles within foods are highlighted."

Jones and colleagues published their study in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety ("Functional Biopolymer Particles: Design, Fabrication, and Applications." Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 2010;9(4):374-397).

For more information, contact O.G. Jones, University of Massachusetts, Dept. of Food Science, Amherst, MA 01003.

From the October 4, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition