Nanomaterials for products and application in agriculture, feed and food

Ruud J.B. Peters, Hans Bouwmeester*, Stefania Gottardo, Valeria Amenta, Maria Arena, Puck Brandhoff, Hans J.P. Marvin, Agnieszka Mech, Filipa Botelho Moniz, Laia Quiros Pesudo, Hubert Rauscher, Reinhilde Schoonjans, Anna K. Undas, Maria Vittoria Vettori, Stefan Weigel, Karin Aschberger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

240 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Nanotechnology applications can be found in agricultural production, animal feed, food processing, food additives and food contact materials (hereinafter referred to as agri/feed/food). A great diversity of nanomaterials is reported to be currently used in various applications, while new nanomaterials and applications are reported to be in development. Scope and approach: It is expected that applications of nanomaterials in agri/feed/food will increase in the future and thereby increase the human and environmental exposure to such materials. To gain up-to-date knowledge we explored and reviewed the already marketed and in-development applications of nanomaterials in the agri/feed/food sectors upon the request of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In this paper the results of the project are highlighted and discussed in more detail. Key findings and conclusions: The majority of the applications of nanomaterials that we identified concerned application in food as food additives and food contact materials, while much fewer applications seem to be developed for agriculture and feed. Nano-encapsulates, silver, titanium dioxide and silica are the most often mentioned nanomaterials in the literature. About half of the identified applications are claimed to be already in use. In-development applications are found for nano-encapsulates and nano-composites in novel foods, food and feed additives, biocides, pesticides and food contact materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-164
JournalTrends in Food Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Agriculture
  • Application
  • Feed
  • Food
  • Nanomaterial
  • Products
  • Risk assessment


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