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Application of Nanotechnology in the Agro-Food Sector

Carla Martins Lopes1,2*, José Ramiro Fernandes3,4 and Paula Martins-Lopes2,4*

1
Faculty of Health Sciences, Fernando Pessoa University, Rua Carlos da Maia 296, PT-4200-150 Porto, Portugal

2Institute of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre of Genomics and Biotechnology, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (IBB/CGB-UTAD), P.O. Box 1013, PT-5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
3INESC TEC, Rua do Campo Alegre 687, PT-4169-007 Porto, Portugal
4University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), P.O. Box 1013, PT-5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal

Article history:

Received August 16, 2012
Accepted January 28, 2013

Key words:
nanostructures, nanofiltration, food safety, food packaging, consumer safety

Summary:
                                                                                                                                                                                 

Nanotechnology is an emerging field of research that has been widely applied in different scientific and engineering areas. The agro-food sector is not an exception, which considers its applicability in several areas of major interest for both consumers and producers. This review considers major concepts related to nanostructures and nano-based instruments used in the food sector, as well as their applications in agro-food products. Food safety through the use of nanosensors for pathogen detection, smart packaging, and valorisation of food products by nanoencapsulation/nanodelivery of food ingredients (e.g. flavours) are examples of important areas of nanotechnology. Consumers' apprehension regarding food stability and safety issues is also considered.


*Corresponding author:          cmlopes@ufp.edu.pt  plopes@utad.pt 
                                               ++3512 2507 4630 ; ++3512 5935 0736
                                              
++3512 2507 4637 ; ++3512 5935 0480

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