Nanoencapsulation, an application of nanotechnology, is a technology that is well known in the area of pharmaceuticals but is relatively nascent in the food industry. Despite being a relatively new technology, nanoencapsulation has carved a niche for itself within a short span of time, making it one of the widely deployed technologies within the food sector. In recent times, nanoencapsulation has been finding usage in various food applications including food processing, packaging, production, storage, and transportation. The industry is presently witnessing manufacturers and research groups actively endeavoring to apply advances in the area of nanotechnology in the food industry. Initial efforts primarily revolved around use of the technology in the area of food packaging but swift progress is being witnessed in the area of nanoparticles and nanoencapsulation of bioactive compounds and food ingredients. Nanoencapsulation has the potential to become a means of delivering difficult-to-attain nutrients to the body by incorporating them in fortified or functional food products. The technology also improves the delivery and bioavailability of nutraceuticals that are known to have therapeutic and disease-prevention effects.
Nanoencapsulation represents the largest and fastest growing application of nanotechnology in the food sector. Nanoencapsulation, which is not only noted for offering improved flavors and tastes but also for facilitating dispersability of water-insoluble preservatives/additives, is expected to dominate a much larger section of the food industry including supplements, colors and flavorings. Nanoencapsulation, in the form of liposomes, protein-based carrier systems or nanomicelles are being used in the development of delivery systems for supplements and additives across a wide range of beverage and food products. Of late, a vast variety of nanocarrier based nutraceutical and food products in addition to other products containing nano-antioxidants and nano-antimicrobials have been penetrating the market owing to the rising awareness over the benefits of health and functional foods.
As stated by the new market research report on "Nanoencapsulation for Food Products," the U.S. represents the largest market worldwide. Europe represents the fastest-growing market in the world with a projected CAGR of 8.3% over the analysis period.