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Research Project: New Sustainable Processing Technologies to Produce Healthy, Value-Added Foods from Specialty Crops

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: Food decontamination using nanomaterials

item EL-MASHAD, HAMED - University Of California
item Pan, Zhongli

Submitted to: Food Control
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2015
Publication Date: 8/27/2015
Citation: El-Mashad, H.M., Pan, Z. 2015. Food decontamination using nanomaterials. Food Control. 1(2):00011. doi: 10.15406/mojfpt2015.01.00011.

Interpretive Summary: Food contamination is a major concern in many countries because it can cause fatal illnesses. Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium, Camplyobacter, and Listeria monocytogenes are common agents for food contamination in the United States. There are several technologies that could be applied for food decontamination. However, new disinfection methods and media are needed to overcome the disadvantages of the current technologies. Nanomaterials are emerging and promising fungicidal, algicidal, and bactericidal media that could be applied for the disinfection of food products. The objective of this article was to review the potential use of nanomaterials for the decontamination of food materials, and to define potential research needs for the application of nanomaterials as food decontaminants. The utilization of nanoparticles and nanoemulsions for food decontaminations is reviewed. The mechanism of bacteria inhibition by nanomaterials and the risk of the applying nanomaterials are also summarized.

Technical Abstract: The research indicates that nanomaterials including nanoemulsions are promising decontamination media for the reduction of food contaminating pathogens. The inhibitory effect of nanoparticles for pathogens could be due to deactivate cellular enzymes and DNA; disrupting of membrane permeability; and/or turning DNA into a condensed form. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were applied for water decontamination and as antipathogen coating for wheat grains. Nanoemulsions such as oregano and basil oil nanoemulsions were applied for the decontamination of L. monocytogenes, S. Typhimurium, and E. coli O157:H7. There is a need to study the effect of different nanomaterials on the decontamination of different food materials. Moreover, there is a need to compare the efficacy of the nanomaterials and other chemicals and technologies for the decontamination of grains, nuts and fresh produce. There is also a need to study the effect of using nanomaterials as carriers of conventional disinfection chemicals so that it could be possible to reduce the chemicals doses used in food disinfection applications.