A recently published briefing on nanomaterials in food has revealed that testing of 'two commercially available donuts' found 'titanium dioxide nanoparticles of 10nm or smaller'. The report, entitled Slipping Through the Cracks, also stated that only 1% of 2500 food-related companies responded to a survey it carried out on nanomaterials in food. It noted that 'this lack of response appears to be characteristic of the food industry when addressing nanomaterials in food', and advised that 'even though communicating risks to consumers is challenging, the public's perception of safety will be paramount in determining consumer acceptance'.
Tests carried out on behalf of the authors found nanoscale titanium dioxide particles in the 'white powdered sugar frosting' of two donut products. Conclusions about whether these 'were engineered or a by-product of manufacturing processes' were not drawn. Nevertheless the authors intend to test other non-donut products it believes may contain the particles.
A survey that was sent by the authors to food companies on the topic received only 26 respondes; of these only 2 said that they were using nanotechnology in their products, whilst 10 admitted they did not know. The authors thereby concluded that 'the lack of transparency regarding [the] use of nanoparticles, and the lack of testing regarding the effects of [them] in human bodies, is likely to result in roadblocks to consumer acceptance.
The report also provides an overview of the use of nanomaterials in foods and food packaging, and an overview of relevant policies and regulations. It also advises on what every company, investor and stakeholder should do.
Follow this link to read the full paper.