The use of nanotechnology-derived products in the development of sensors and analytical measurement methodologies has increased significantly over the past decade. Nano-based sensing approaches include the use of nanoparticles (NPs) and nanostructures to enhance sensitivity and selectivity, design new detection schemes, improve sample preparation and increase portability. This review summarizes recent advancements in the design and development of NP-based sensors for assessing food safety. The most common types of NPs used to fabricate sensors for detection of food contaminants are discussed. Selected examples of NP-based detection schemes with colorimetric and electrochemical detection are provided with focus on sensors for the detection of chemical and biological contaminants including pesticides, heavy metals, bacterial pathogens and natural toxins. Current trends in the development of low-cost portable NP-based technology for rapid assessment of food safety as well as challenges for practical implementation and future research directions are discussed.
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