(Bio)nanotechnology in Food Science—Food Packaging
Background: Bionanotechnology, as a tool for incorporation of biological molecules into nanoartifacts, is gaining more and more importance in the field of food packaging. It offers an advanced expectation of food packaging that can ensure longer shelf life of products and safer packaging with improved food quality and traceability. Scope and approach: This review recent focuses on advances in food nanopackaging, including bio-based, improved, active, and smart packaging. Special emphasis is placed on bio-based packaging, including biodegradable packaging and biocompatible packaging, which presents an alternative to most commonly used non-degradable polymer materials. Safety and environmental concerns of (bio)nanotechnology implementation in food packaging were also discussed including new EU directives. Conclusions: The use of nanoparticles and nanocomposites in food packaging increases the mechanical strength and properties of the water and oxygen barrier of packaging and may provide other benefits such as antimicrobial activity and light-blocking properties. Concerns about the migration of nanoparticles from packaging to food have been expressed, but migration tests and risk assessment are unclear. Presumed toxicity, lack of additional data from clinical trials and risk assessment studies limit the use of nanomaterials in the food packaging sector. Therefore, an assessment of benefits and risks must be defined.