NIA’s Director General, Dr Steffi Friedrichs, was recently interviewed about what nanotechnology has to offer the agricultural sector. The DG’s made her comments in a video interview for the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture, an event which will take place in Abu Dhabi in February 2014.
Answering the question “Can you give us an idea of the rate at which solutions involving nanotechnology are being adopted by the agriculture sector?” Dr Friedrichs stated that, “nanotechnology is an enabling technology and that means we see it coming into all sorts of different applications”. Going further, NIA’s DG noted that these applications were not only on the food processing side, but on the environmental side as well.
On the topic of how safe it is for nanoparticles to enter the food chain, Dr Friedrichs provided assurances that, “no matter what goes into the food chain, it has to be safe”. Noting that “just because we’re making things smaller now, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re making entirely new things”, NIA’s DG explained that the smaller size allows particles to “show their functionality”, giving advantages over the delivery and dispersion of nutrients within the body. Nevertheless these smaller, functionalised particles “still have to be as safe as the larger ingredients were before”.
Follow this link to watch the full video interview.