July 28, 2020

Nanotoxicology

Nanotechnology grows rapidly and has potential applications in many areas such as industry, agriculture, business, medicine etc.

Nano-materials play an effective role in food preservation, packaging process and packaging material. Candies, sweets, and chewing gums have gained popularity because of the use of Nano-materials.

Uses of nano-scale materials in the food industry are likely to improve the processed food. Nano-materials are being used as coated materials in treatment and as diagnostic tools.

Nanotoxicology is defined as the study of the nature and mechanism of toxic effects of nanoscale materials/particles on living organisms and other biological systems.

In traditional toxicity, “the dose” defines “the poison”. However, this point of view should be modified in nanotoxicology.

Nanotoxicology is intended to address the toxicological activities of nanoparticles and their products to determine whether and to what extent they may pose a threat to the environment and to human health, and defined as the study of the nature and mechanism of toxic effects of nanoscale materials/particles on living organisms and other biological systems.

It is important to note that nano-materials may have toxic effects in the body due to their increased contacting levels. In addition, there may be potential and unpredictable risks to use in food packaging.

Shape, size and composition of the nanoparticles regulate the toxicity. Nanoparticles inherently possess higher surface area to volume ratio compared to bulk metals due to which they can be highly reactive and they are estimated as absorbed 15–20 times more compared to the respective bulk particles.

Nanotoxicology investigation because of the processing of nanoparticle in biological systems possibly will lead to unpredictable effects. Nanoparticle is having a capability to cross the biological membrane and access the cells tissue and organ inhalation and consumption.

Generally, nanomaterial size, shape, surface chemistry, and degree of aggregation are key factors that influence the toxicity. The size of nanomaterials influences the cellular uptake and response to nanomaterials, their distribution, and elimination from the body.

The field of nanotechnology has expanded day by day since nanomaterials are used in many applications in people daily life. Human exposure to nanomaterials is unavoidable. Nanoparticles easily enter the environment via various routes, and ultimately enter human body through direct routes such as dermal and oral exposures, nanodrugs, or through indirect routes such as the food chain, etc.

The area of food production wherein nanotechnology can have a great impact is in food packaging. Studies have indicated that consumers are more willing to accept the presence of nano-materials in packaging than in food itself. However, the nano-materials in food packaging may potentially migrate to food, which in turn can be ingested or inhaled, or even be transferred through skin contact. Studies on nanoparticles of titanium, silver and CNTs have shown that these materials could enter blood circulation, and their insolubility may cause accumulation in organs.
Nanotoxicology

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