The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a report called Inventory of Nanotechnology applications in the agricultural, feed and food sector. The objective of the study was two-fold: ‘(i) [to prepare] an inventory of current and potential future applications of nanotechnology in the agri/feed/food sector; and (ii) to review the regulation of nanomaterials in the EU as well as in non-EU countries’.
As a result of research, three thematic lists were generated by the authors as part of their inventory: current and future nanotechnology applications; toxicological data; and risk assessment status of nanomaterials in the agri/feed/food sector. In general the team found that ‘nano-encapsulates, silver and titanium dioxide have the highest number of records’ in the inventory, and that ‘food additives and food contact materials are the most indicated current applications’. In all, ‘633 nanotechnology applications were found and 55 types of nanomaterials for agri/feed/food were identified’.
According to the report, ‘potential future developments are expected in the field of nano-encapsulates and nano-composites in applications such as novel food, food/feed additives, biocides, pesticides and food contact materials. With regards to the list on toxicological data, this showed ‘that most information is available for silica, titanium dioxide and silver to characterise their potential human hazard’. The list on risk assessment found ‘only a limited set of records […] showing that only a few materials have been evaluated’.
The review of legislation revealed that ‘a few EU legal acts incorporate a definition of a nanomaterial to enable specific provision’. Nevertheless many non-EU countries were determined to favour ‘a broader approach with limited nanomaterial specific legislation and/or legally binding definition of nanomaterials’.
Follow this link to read the full report.