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Application of nanotechnology in food field

Edit: Ccdanni 2020-02-01 Mobile

  First, food processing

  In recent years, nanotechnology has achieved rapid development in the food industry chain. In the process of food processing, the added nanoparticles have the characteristics of small size, large specific surface area and high surface activity, which can effectively improve the taste of food, improve the texture and color of food, and increase the probability of nutrients being absorbed in food. Health benefits.

  Examples of successful applications of nanotechnology in the field of food processing are nano-micronization technology (including micro-encapsulation, emulsification and other technologies) and nano-membrane separation technology. Nano-miniaturization technology can be widely used in the field of health foods. By nanonizing nutritional supplement particles, improving their application performance, increasing their utilization rate, and reducing the toxic and side effects of health foods. Nano-microcapsule (below) technology is based on safe and non-toxic natural materials (such as casein). After certain treatment, microcapsules (10 to 150 nanometers) are formed in the process of self-organization or reorganization. Trace elements or nutritional functional factors are wrapped in it. After treatment, not only the dissolving properties of these nutritional functional factors can be changed, and their application range can be expanded. At the same time, due to the protective effect, their utilization rate in the organism is also improved. In addition, such nano-microcapsules can achieve controlled release through pH, temperature, and the like.

  To isolate the functional components of food, researchers have developed nanotube membranes. By trimming the nanotube film to make it functional, it can effectively separate food components based on differences in size and chemical characteristics, and solve the problem of poor selectivity and low efficiency of general membranes. In the future, the fine processing of certain highly physiologically active proteins, peptides, vitamins and minerals will have broad application prospects. The United States has developed a nano filter through which milk can filter out harmful substances such as bacteria. Compared with traditional heating and sterilization, this milk has better taste and nutritional content.

  Second, food preservation and packaging

  Consulting company Helmut Kaiser published a market research report in 2007 that the types of global nano-composite food packaging materials have grown from less than 40 in 2003 to more than 400 in 2006. Composite packaging materials will account for one quarter of the total food packaging output value, and sales will reach $ 100 billion.

  Using nanotechnology-developed packaging systems can repair small cracks and breaks, adapt to changes in the environment, and alert consumers when food is spoiled. In addition, nanotechnology can improve the permeability of the packaging, improve the barrier properties, improve the damage resistance and heat resistance, form an antibacterial surface, and prevent food from spoiling. In the field of food packaging, in recent years, the most studied nanomaterials at home and abroad are polymer-based nanocomposites, that is, nanomaterials are dispersed at the molecular level (on the order of 10 nanometers) or in the form of ultrafine particles in flexible polymer polymers. Composites. Commonly used polymers are polyamide, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate, liquid crystal polymers, etc .; commonly used nano-materials include metals, metal oxides, and inorganic polymers. class. At present, according to the packaging needs of different foods, a variety of polymer-based nanocomposites for food packaging have been launched, such as nanosilver / polyethylene, nanotitanium dioxide / polypropylene, nanomontmorillonite powder / nylon, etc. Some physical, chemical, and biological properties have been greatly improved, such as plasticity, stability, barrier properties, antibacterial properties, freshness, etc., in beer, beverages, fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy products and other foods.

  Large-scale applications have begun in the packaging industry and good packaging results have been achieved. The following figure is a comparison of the freshness of ordinary packaging and nanocomposite packaging.


  From the current research direction and market application, new types of packaging materials based on nano-reinforced food packaging materials, "smart" and "active" packaging materials and nano-composite degradable packaging materials have appeared.

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