Nanotechnology to the rescue: using nano-enabled approaches in microbiological food safety and quality
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Food safety and quality assurance is entering a new era. Interventions along the food supply chain must become more efficient in safeguarding public health and the environment and must address numerous challenges and new consumption trends. Current methods of microbial control to assure the safety of food and minimize microbial spoilage have each shown inefficiencies. Nanotechnology is a rapidly expanding area in the agri/feed/food sector. Nano-enabled approaches such as antimicrobial food-contact surfaces/packaging, nano-enabled sensors for rapid pathogen/contaminant detection and nano-delivered biocidal methods, currently on the market or at a developmental stage, show great potential for the food industry. Concerns on potential risks to human health and the environment posed by use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in food applications must, however, be adequately evaluated at the developmental stage to ensure consumer's acceptance.