Nanotechnology in Food and Nutrition Sciences

May 5/Bethesda, Md./Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week -- Data detailed in "Nanotechnology Research: Applications in Nutritional Sciences" have been presented. "The tantalizing potential of nanotechnology is to fabricate and combine nanoscale approaches and building blocks to make useful tools and, ultimately, interventions for medical science, including nutritional science, at the scale of approximately 1-100nm. In the past few years, tools and techniques that facilitate studies and interventions in the nanoscale range have become widely available and have drawn widespread attention," scientists in the U.S. report.

"Recently, investigators in the food and nutrition sciences have been applying the tools of nanotechnology in their research. The Experimental Biology 2009 symposium entitled "Nanotechnology Research: Applications in Nutritional Sciences" was organized to highlight emerging applications of nanotechnology to the food and nutrition sciences, as well as to suggest ways for further integration of these emerging technologies into nutrition research. Speakers focused on topics that included the problems and possibilities of introducing nanoparticles in clinical or nutrition settings, nanotechnology applications for increasing bioavailability of bioactive food components in new food products, nanotechnology opportunities in food science, as well as emerging safety and regulatory issues in this area, and the basic research applications such as the use of quantum dots to visualize cellular processes and protein-protein interactions. The session highlighted several emerging areas of potential utility in nutrition research. Nutrition scientists are encouraged to leverage ongoing efforts in nanomedicine through collaborations," wrote P.R. Srinivas and colleagues, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

The researchers concluded, "These efforts could facilitate exploration of previously inaccessible cellular compartments and intracellular pathways and thus uncover strategies for new prevention and therapeutic modalities."

Srinivas and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Nutrition ("Nanotechnology Research: Applications in Nutritional Sciences," Journal of Nutrition, 2010;140(1):119-24).

For additional information, contact P.R. Srinivas, Atherothrombosis and Coronary Artery Diseases Branch, Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892.

From the May 10, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition