This research project explains the usage of nanotechnology in the food industry. The conceptions of nanoscience and nanotechnology started by physicist Richard Feynman with a talk called “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” at an American Physical Society meeting at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) on December 29, 1959, Long before the use of the term nanotechnology. He described a method in which scientists would be able to shape and control individual atoms and molecules. Professor Norio Taniguchi Formulated the term nanotechnology over ten years later. Modern nanotechnology began with the evolution of the scanning tunneling microscope that could “see” individual atoms in 1981. Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology carried out in the nanoscale, which is around 1 to 100 nanometers (National nanotechnology initiative, n.d.). This research aims to identify methods used in food processing, determine the practical applications on nano-foods, find the benefits of using it in food production. This report paper presents how data was collected, what information was selected. Then it deals with the findings of the research and finally a conclusion is drawn along with some recommendations.
The information in this report was collected from websites online. There were few steps taken before the information was used in this report. In the beginning, watching and reading from several videos and websites to have a general knowledge about the topic. Then the obtained information was used in the report according to what is related to the topic. There were some difficulties faced while finding relevant information such as choosing the right search titles to find what is needed in this report.?
3.1 Methods used in food processing
Safety is one of the reasons why food is processed. Many diseases and deaths can be caused by microorganisms and bacteria, so keeping food safe is necessary. Overall food quality such as flavor and texture are also reasons for processing. Lastly, the food is processed to make it a suitable size and shape for eating.
The first method is chemical processing, it is common to add various chemicals to packaged foods in processing methods. Adding chemicals to protect foods and give it “shelf life” are important to keep foods safe and edible after shipping and storing them. Natural extras like salt, sugar, wood smoke, spices, monosodium glutamate and artificial sweeteners are added to foods during processing. The second method is called refrigeration and freezing, there are safety steps to keep bacteria at bay which are refrigerating and freezing foods. Refrigerated foods in markets usually sit at 4 degrees Centigrade or 39 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of a commercial freezer is set to minus 18 degrees Centigrade or 0 degrees Fahrenheit to freeze food which leads the food to freeze fast making smaller ice crystals than when the freezing is done at home. That means the food has a higher quality (McCarron, 2017).
3.2 The practical applications on nano-foods
Nanotechnology has been used unknowingly in food industry for years. Mayonnaise is a mixture of very small particles, where water and oil are pressured to blend without separation. But researchers are now discovering techniques that let these tiny droplets to be completely tailored, to give them particular tastes or textures. The reason why mayonnaise stays creamy and thick is “there are so many fat droplets that they divide the water into pockets”, says Kathy Groves, a microscopist at contract research company Leatherhead Food Research in the UK. Which is 70% fat. Adding more water is one way to lower the fat content under 40%, also some starch to prevent the mayonnaise from being liquidly. But an absolutely delicious approach is to manipulate the droplets’ structure on the nanometre. Groves and her coworkers are promoting techniques to replace the interior of water droplets with water, creating a mixture with the same structure, but less fat than how it really is. Nanometre-sized grains of salt are also being developed by researchers which is a lot smaller than regular table salt. Carving up a grain of salt into these tinier particles raises its surface area a million times, which means that your food needs way less salt to give your taste friends the same taste. That could be a benefit for those who are worried about high blood pressure and are trying to limit their salt intake (Sanderson, 2013).
3.3 The benefits of using nanotechnology in food production
Nanotechnology engineered powders and vitamins to expand the delivery of nutrients and aim at human systems to increase nutrients. Nanoparticles can significantly prolong the survival of nutrients in the digestive system by decreasing intestinal clearance mechanisms. Nanomaterials contain a huge surface area that has the potential to improve characteristics such as strength and efficacy of particular importance in food and packaging products (Cuffari, 2017).