Activities & Projects

NanoRelease Food Additive: Developing Methods to measure Release of Nanoparticles from Food

Update July 2014

Several scientific publications from this NanoRelease project have been published (and are freely available) in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, issue 4, July 2014.

The following are the five publications:

Measurement Methods for the Oral Uptake of Engineered Nanomaterials from Human Dietary Sources: Summary and Outlook

Measurement Methods to Evaluate Engineered Nanomaterial Release from Food Contact Materials

Measurement Methods to Detect, Characterize, and Quantify Engineered Nanomaterials in Foods

Methods to Evaluate Uptake of Engineered Nanomaterials by the Alimentary Tract 

Engineered Nanoscale Food Ingredients: Evaluation of Current Knowledge on Material Characteristics Relevant to Uptake from the Gastrointestinal Tract

Another publication was published in ACSnano in April 2014  (vol 8, no 4), also freely available.

Measurement of Nanomaterials in Food: Integrative Consideration of Challenges and Future Prospects


Additional publications have been submitted for publication. 



The NanoRelease project is based on continuous technical discussions internationally across key stakeholder experts about what is "nano" in foods and how to measure characteristics relevant to nanomaterial uptake by the body, thereby developing a trusted dialogue and methods for forming reliable data and safe products.

NIA NanoRelease Additives Project

Focusing on oral exposure to nanomaterials, the NanoRelease Food Additive project starts from the observations that:

  1. there are no widely accepted methods to assess oral uptake of nanomaterials, and
  2. acceptance of such methods would greatly clarify debates about potential ingestion hazard of many if not most engineered and natural nanomaterials.

Such methods would also allow development of sustainable, safe nanomaterial applications at a time when the technology could be used to address pressing issues in food safety, food security, water availability, and medical product development. The critical issues of safety and innovation in public health bring the interests of a wide variety of stakeholders to the table in this partnership. 

The project will identify and develop methods needed to confidently measure key characteristics of ingested nanoparticles that determine whether they are likely to be taken up by the body as nanoparticles so that a better understanding of "what is nano" by oral exposure can be shared among stakeholders. The specific tasks to be performed are:

  1. Gathering published information and unpublished knowledge of product developers and government reviewers
  2. Identification of measurement needs and methods to clarify whether a material is likely to be taken up as a nanomaterial into systemic circulation
  3. Identification of gaps preventing methods application, and 4) designing methods development workplans to address gaps to standard and widespread use of methods.

Follow this link to find out more about the NanoRelease Food Additive project.

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