The following will provide an overview on how advances in nanoparticle technology have contributed towards developing biosensors to screen for safety and quality markers associated with foods. The novel properties of nanoparticles will be described and how such characteristics have been exploited in sensor design will be provided. All the biosensor formats were initially developed for the health care sector to meet the demand for point-of-care diagnostics. As a consequence, research has been directed towards miniaturization thereby reducing the sample volume to nanolitres. However, the needs of the food sector are very different which may ultimately limit commercial application of nanoparticle based nanosensors.