Special Issue "Advances in Food Nanotechnology"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Synthesis, Interfaces and Nanostructures".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (6 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Oscar Ramos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CBQF - Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina – Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Rua Diogo Botelho 1327, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal
Interests: Nanotechnology applied to Food Technology (nano-multilayered films and coatings, nanoparticles and nanogels as nanocomposites or nanodelivery systems, all from food-grade materials); Bioactive and smart food packaging (edible films and coatings for food products and its chemical, physical and functional characterization); valorization of industrial food co-products
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Alessandra Braga Ribeiro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CBQF - Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina – Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Rua Diogo Botelho 1327, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal
Interests: Polymers from natural source applied to Food Science; Synthesis and characterization of hydrogels based in natural polysaccharides; Nanostructured materials applied in catalysis; valorization of saccharides and bioactive compounds from food industry
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Carla Pereira
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CBQF - Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina – Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Rua Diogo Botelho 1327, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal
Interests: Co-products valorization of sugarcane industry; Smart micro- and nanostructures; Biopolymers functionalization and Delivery systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We kindly invite you to submit your contribution to the Special Issue entitled “Advances in Food Nanotechnology”. This special issue aims to cover the most recent advances made on nanoscience and nanotechnology fields, from nanomaterials design, conception and characterization to its application in a variety of food-related industries through the whole food chain, including food and food packaging. This issue will include several topics concerning innovative nanomaterials delivery added to food products or intended to be in contact to food (food packaging) to improve FOOD processing, production, nutrition, preservation (shelf life extension) and safety. Topics concerning the potential toxicity of nanomaterials upon contact to food matrices, the bioaccessibility and bioavailability of nanomaterials when incorporated in or released from food products during Gastrointestinal digestion are also very welcome.

The main goal of this issue is to showcase ground-breaking applications on the applicability of nanomaterials in food industry (food and beverages products) and food packaging (packaging intended to be in contact to food) and their possible implications for consumer safety and health. Up-to-date original research and reviews on these topics are welcome, and we look forward to receiving your interesting work.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Eco-efficiency low impact processes and materials (environmentally friendly, environmentally sustainable, waste-based, and bio-based)
  • Novel processing technologies/fabrication methods of nanomaterials
  • Innovative nano-hybrid materials
  • Physical-chemical and structural characterization of nanostructured materials
  • Engineering nanomaterials 
  • Shortcomings and undesired effects of nanomaterials upon food matrices
  • Toxicological risks and shelf life studies
  • Up-Scaling fabrication challenges

Dr. Oscar Ramos
Prof. Manuela Pintado
Dr. Alessandra Braga Ribeiro
Dr. Carla Pereira
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Biopolymers
  • Smart coatings and films
  • Food applications
  • Hybrid nanosystems
  • Engineering nanomaterials
  • Green processes and materials
  • Nanotoxicity

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Grouping Hypotheses and an Integrated Approach to Testing and Assessment of Nanomaterials Following Oral Ingestion
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(10), 2623; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11102623 - 07 Oct 2021
Viewed by 433
Abstract
The risk assessment of ingested nanomaterials (NMs) is an important issue. Here we present nine integrated approaches to testing and assessment (IATAs) to group ingested NMs following predefined hypotheses. The IATAs are structured as decision trees and tiered testing strategies for each decision [...] Read more.
The risk assessment of ingested nanomaterials (NMs) is an important issue. Here we present nine integrated approaches to testing and assessment (IATAs) to group ingested NMs following predefined hypotheses. The IATAs are structured as decision trees and tiered testing strategies for each decision node to support a grouping decision. Implications (e.g., regulatory or precautionary) per group are indicated. IATAs integrate information on durability and biopersistence (dissolution kinetics) to specific hazard endpoints, e.g., inflammation and genotoxicity, which are possibly indicative of toxicity. Based on IATAs, groups of similar nanoforms (NFs) of a NM can be formed, such as very slow dissolving, highly biopersistent and systemically toxic NFs. Reference NMs (ZnO, SiO2 and TiO2) along with related NFs are applied as case studies to testing the oral IATAs. Results based on the Tier 1 level suggest a hierarchy of biodurability and biopersistence of TiO2 > SiO2 > ZnO, and are confirmed by in vivo data (Tier 3 level). Interestingly, our analysis suggests that TiO2 and SiO2 NFs are able to induce both local and systemic toxicity along with microbiota dysbiosis and can be grouped according to the tested fate and hazard descriptors. This supports that the decision nodes of the oral IATAs are suitable for classification and assessment of the toxicity of NFs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Food Nanotechnology)
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Article
Identification of Tomato Infecting Viruses That Co-Isolate with Nanovesicles Using a Combined Proteomics and Electron-Microscopic Approach
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(8), 1922; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11081922 - 26 Jul 2021
Viewed by 836
Abstract
Plant-derived nanovesicles (NVs) have attracted interest due to their anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antioxidative properties and their efficient uptake by human intestinal epithelial cells. Previously we showed that tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruit is one of the interesting plant resources from which NVs [...] Read more.
Plant-derived nanovesicles (NVs) have attracted interest due to their anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antioxidative properties and their efficient uptake by human intestinal epithelial cells. Previously we showed that tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruit is one of the interesting plant resources from which NVs can be obtained at a high yield. In the course of the isolation of NVs from different batches of tomatoes, using the established differential ultracentrifugation or size-exclusion chromatography methods, we occasionally observed the co-isolation of viral particles. Density gradient ultracentrifugation (gUC), using sucrose or iodixanol gradient materials, turned out to be efficient in the separation of NVs from the viral particles. We applied cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for the morphological assessment and LC–MS/MS-based proteomics for the protein identification of the gradient fractions. Cryo-TEM showed that a low-density gUC fraction was enriched in membrane-enclosed NVs, while the high-density fractions were rich in rod-shaped objects. Mass spectrometry–based proteomic analysis identified capsid proteins of tomato brown rugose fruit virus, tomato mosaic virus and tomato mottle mosaic virus. In another batch of tomatoes, we isolated tomato spotted wilt virus, potato virus Y and southern tomato virus in the vesicle sample. Our results show the frequent co-isolation of plant viruses with NVs and the utility of the combination of cryo-TEM, SEM and proteomics in the detection of possible viral contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Food Nanotechnology)
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Article
Spatiotemporal Visualization of Insecticides and Fungicides within Fruits and Vegetables Using Gold Nanoparticle-Immersed Paper Imprinting Mass Spectrometry Imaging
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(5), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11051327 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 789
Abstract
Food safety issues caused by pesticide residue have exerted far-reaching impacts on human daily life, yet the available detection methods normally focus on surface residue rather than pesticide penetration to the internal area of foods. Herein, we demonstrated gold nanoparticle (AuNP)-immersed paper imprinting [...] Read more.
Food safety issues caused by pesticide residue have exerted far-reaching impacts on human daily life, yet the available detection methods normally focus on surface residue rather than pesticide penetration to the internal area of foods. Herein, we demonstrated gold nanoparticle (AuNP)-immersed paper imprinting mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) for monitoring pesticide migration behaviors in various fruits and vegetables (i.e., apple, cucumber, pepper, plum, carrot, and strawberry). By manually stamping food tissues onto AuNP-immersed paper, this method affords the spatiotemporal visualization of insecticides and fungicides within fruits and vegetables, avoiding tedious and time-consuming sample preparation. Using the established MSI platform, we can track the migration of insecticides and fungicides into the inner region of foods. The results revealed that both the octanol-water partition coefficient of pesticides and water content of garden stuffs could influence the discrepancy in the migration speed of pesticides into food kernels. Taken together, this nanopaper imprinting MSI is poised to be a powerful tool because of its simplicity, rapidity, and easy operation, offering the potential to facilitate further applications in food analysis. Moreover, new perspectives are given to provide guidelines for the rational design of novel pesticide candidates, reducing the risk of food safety issues caused by pesticide residue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Food Nanotechnology)
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Article
Polysaccharide-Based Multilayer Nano-Emulsions Loaded with Oregano Oil: Production, Characterization, and In Vitro Digestion Assessment
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(4), 878; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11040878 - 30 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 590
Abstract
The food industry has increased its interest in using “consumer-friendly” and natural ingredients to produce food products. In the case of emulsifiers, one of the possibilities is to use biopolymers with emulsification capacity, such as octenyl succinic anhydride modified starch, which can be [...] Read more.
The food industry has increased its interest in using “consumer-friendly” and natural ingredients to produce food products. In the case of emulsifiers, one of the possibilities is to use biopolymers with emulsification capacity, such as octenyl succinic anhydride modified starch, which can be used in combination with other polysaccharides, such as chitosan and carboxymethylcellulose, in order to improve the capacity to protect bioactive compounds. In this work, multilayer nano-emulsion systems loaded with oregano essential oil were produced by high energy methods and characterized. The process optimization was carried out based on the evaluation of particle size, polydispersity index, and zeta potential. Optimal conditions were achieved for one-layer nano-emulsions resulting in particle size and zeta potential of 180 nm and −42 mV, two layers (after chitosan addition) at 226 nm and 35 mV, and three layers (after carboxymethylcellulose addition) of 265 nm and −1 mV, respectively. The encapsulation efficiency of oregano essential oil within nano-emulsions was 97.1%. Stability was evaluated up to 21 days at 4 and 20 °C. The three layers nano-emulsion demonstrated to be an efficient delivery system of oregano essential oil, making 40% of the initial oregano essential oil available versus 13% obtained for oregano essential oil in oil, after exposure to simulated digestive conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Food Nanotechnology)
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Article
Nanoemulsions for Enhancement of Curcumin Bioavailability and Their Safety Evaluation: Effect of Emulsifier Type
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(3), 815; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11030815 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 641
Abstract
This work aimed at evaluating the effects of different emulsifiers on curcumin-loaded nanoemulsions’ behavior during digestion, its safety and absorption, to develop nanoemulsions that provide safety and improved curcumin functionality. Nanoemulsions (NEs) were produced using two bio-based (lecithin (LEC) and rhamnolipids (RHAM)) and [...] Read more.
This work aimed at evaluating the effects of different emulsifiers on curcumin-loaded nanoemulsions’ behavior during digestion, its safety and absorption, to develop nanoemulsions that provide safety and improved curcumin functionality. Nanoemulsions (NEs) were produced using two bio-based (lecithin (LEC) and rhamnolipids (RHAM)) and one synthetic (Tween®80 (TWE)) emulsifier at similar concentrations. Different NEs were subjected to in vitro digestion. The cytotoxicity and permeability tests were performed in Caco-2 cells. NE_TWE were stable during all phases of in vitro digestion, whereas NE_LEC and NE_RHAM were found to be unstable from the gastric phase. NE_TWE showed 100% of free fatty acids released, followed by NE_RHAM and NE_LEC. Curcumin’s bioaccessibility and stability increased in the following order: NE_LEC > NE_RHAM > NE_TWE. NE_LEC and NE_TWE did not show cytotoxic effects in any of the concentrations tested, while NE_RHAM presented high cytotoxicity in all concentrations tested. The apparent permeability coefficients were determined for NE_LEC and NE_TWE; however, the results were not statistically different. These results showed that the emulsifier used has a high impact on nanoemulsions’ behavior under the digestion process and on their cytotoxicity. This work contributed to the state-of-the-art’s progress on the development of safer curcumin delivery systems with improved functionality, particularly regarding the proper selection of ingredients to produce said systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Food Nanotechnology)
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Article
Development of Active Barrier Multilayer Films Based on Electrospun Antimicrobial Hot-Tack Food Waste Derived Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) and Cellulose Nanocrystal Interlayers
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(12), 2356; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10122356 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2608
Abstract
Active multilayer films based on polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) with and without high barrier coatings of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were herein successfully developed. To this end, an electrospun antimicrobial hot-tack layer made of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) derived from cheese whey, a by-product from the [...] Read more.
Active multilayer films based on polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) with and without high barrier coatings of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were herein successfully developed. To this end, an electrospun antimicrobial hot-tack layer made of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) derived from cheese whey, a by-product from the dairy industry, was deposited on a previously manufactured blown film of commercial food contact PHA-based resin. A hybrid combination of oregano essential oil (OEO) and zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) were incorporated during the electrospinning process into the PHBV nanofibers at 2.5 and 2.25 wt%, respectively, in order to provide antimicrobial properties. A barrier CNC coating was also applied by casting from an aqueous solution of nanocellulose at 2 wt% using a rod at 1m/min. The whole multilayer structure was thereafter assembled in a pilot roll-to-roll laminating system, where the blown PHA-based film was located as the outer layers while the electrospun antimicrobial hot-tack PHBV layer and the barrier CNC coating were placed as interlayers. The resultant multilayer films, having a final thickness in the 130–150 µm range, were characterized to ascertain their potential in biodegradable food packaging. The multilayers showed contact transparency, interlayer adhesion, improved barrier to water and limonene vapors, and intermediate mechanical performance. Moreover, the films presented high antimicrobial and antioxidant activities in both open and closed systems for up to 15 days. Finally, the food safety of the multilayers was assessed by migration and cytotoxicity tests, demonstrating that the films are safe to use in both alcoholic and acid food simulants and they are also not cytotoxic for Caco-2 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Food Nanotechnology)
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Review

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Review
Novel Micro- and Nanocellulose-Based Delivery Systems for Liposoluble Compounds
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(10), 2593; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11102593 - 01 Oct 2021
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Poor aqueous solubility of bioactive compounds is becoming a pronounced challenge in the development of bioactive formulations. Numerous liposoluble compounds have very interesting biological activities, but their low water solubility, stability, and bioavailability restrict their applications. To overcome these limitations there is a [...] Read more.
Poor aqueous solubility of bioactive compounds is becoming a pronounced challenge in the development of bioactive formulations. Numerous liposoluble compounds have very interesting biological activities, but their low water solubility, stability, and bioavailability restrict their applications. To overcome these limitations there is a need to use enabling delivering strategies, which often demand new carrier materials. Cellulose and its micro- and nanostructures are promising carriers with unique features. In this context, this review describes the fast-growing field of micro- and nanocellulose based delivery systems with a focus on the release of liposoluble bioactive compounds. The state of research on this field is reviewed in this article, which also covers the chemistry, preparation, properties, and applications of micro- and nanocellulose based delivery systems. Although there are promising perspectives for introducing these materials into various fields, aspects of safety and toxicity must be revealed and are discussed in this review. The impact of gastrointestinal conditions on the systems and on the bioavailability of the bioactive compounds are also addressed in this review. This article helps to unveil the whole panorama of micro- and nanocellulose as delivery systems for liposoluble compounds, showing that these represent a great promise in a wide range of applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Food Nanotechnology)
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Review
Application of Nanotechnology in Analysis and Removal of Heavy Metals in Food and Water Resources
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(7), 1792; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11071792 - 09 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1228
Abstract
Toxic heavy metal contamination in food and water from environmental pollution is a significant public health issue. Heavy metals do not biodegrade easily yet can be enriched hundreds of times by biological magnification, where toxic substances move up the food chain and eventually [...] Read more.
Toxic heavy metal contamination in food and water from environmental pollution is a significant public health issue. Heavy metals do not biodegrade easily yet can be enriched hundreds of times by biological magnification, where toxic substances move up the food chain and eventually enter the human body. Nanotechnology as an emerging field has provided significant improvement in heavy metal analysis and removal from complex matrices. Various techniques have been adapted based on nanomaterials for heavy metal analysis, such as electrochemical, colorimetric, fluorescent, and biosensing technology. Multiple categories of nanomaterials have been utilized for heavy metal removal, such as metal oxide nanoparticles, magnetic nanoparticles, graphene and derivatives, and carbon nanotubes. Nanotechnology-based heavy metal analysis and removal from food and water resources has the advantages of wide linear range, low detection and quantification limits, high sensitivity, and good selectivity. There is a need for easy and safe field application of nanomaterial-based approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Food Nanotechnology)
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Review
Ferritin Nanocage: A Versatile Nanocarrier Utilized in the Field of Food, Nutrition, and Medicine
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(9), 1894; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10091894 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1463
Abstract
Compared with other nanocarriers such as liposomes, mesoporous silica, and cyclodextrin, ferritin as a typical protein nanocage has received considerable attention in the field of food, nutrition, and medicine owing to its inherent cavity size, excellent water solubility, and biocompatibility. Additionally, ferritin nanocage [...] Read more.
Compared with other nanocarriers such as liposomes, mesoporous silica, and cyclodextrin, ferritin as a typical protein nanocage has received considerable attention in the field of food, nutrition, and medicine owing to its inherent cavity size, excellent water solubility, and biocompatibility. Additionally, ferritin nanocage also serves as a versatile bio-template for the synthesis of a variety of nanoparticles. Recently, scientists have explored the ferritin nanocage structure for encapsulation and delivery of guest molecules such as nutrients, bioactive molecules, anticancer drugs, and mineral metal ions by taking advantage of its unique reversible disassembly and reassembly property and biomineralization. In this review, we mainly focus on the preparation and structure of ferritin-based nanocarriers, and regulation of their self-assembly. Moreover, the recent advances of their applications in food nutrient delivery and medical diagnostics are highlighted. Finally, the main challenges and future development in ferritin-directed nanoparticles’ synthesis and multifunctional applications are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Food Nanotechnology)
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Review
Manufacturing of Food Packaging Based on Nanocellulose: Current Advances and Challenges
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(9), 1726; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10091726 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2030
Abstract
Nowadays, environmental pollution due to synthetic polymers represents one of the biggest worldwide challenges. As demonstrated in numerous scientific articles, plant-based nanocellulose (NC) is a biodegradable and nontoxic material whose mechanical, rheological, and gas barrier properties are competitive compared to those of oil-based [...] Read more.
Nowadays, environmental pollution due to synthetic polymers represents one of the biggest worldwide challenges. As demonstrated in numerous scientific articles, plant-based nanocellulose (NC) is a biodegradable and nontoxic material whose mechanical, rheological, and gas barrier properties are competitive compared to those of oil-based plastics. However, the sensitivity of NC in humid ambient and lack of thermosealability have proven to be a major obstacle that hinders its breakthrough in various sectors including food packaging. In recent years, attempts have been made in order to provide a hydrophobic character to NC through chemical modifications. In addition, extensive works on nanocellulose applications in food packaging such as coating, layer-by-layer, casting, and electrospinning have been reported. Despite these enormous advances, it can easily be observed that packaging manufacturers have not yet shown a particular interest in terms of applicability and processability of the nanocellulose due to the lack of guidelines and guarantee on the success of their implementation. This review is useful for researchers and packaging manufacturers because it puts emphasis on recent works that have dealt with the nanocellulose applications and focuses on the best strategies to be adopted for swift and sustainable industrial manufacturing scale-up of high-performance bio-based/compostable packaging in replacement of the oil-based counterparts used today. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Food Nanotechnology)
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