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Measuring the Impact of Nanotechnology on Food

BY: Mary Ellen Kuhn
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Nanotechnology Session 97
Tuesday, July 19; 10:30 a.m.–noon
Room S405

Nano-ingredient innovation and issues of food contamination, allergenicity, and fraud as they relate to nanotechnology will all be considered in Session 97, “Nanotechnology and Food: What Are the Opportunities and Challenges?”

In the symposium’s first presentation, Lauren Jackson, chief of the process engineering branch in the division of processing science and technology at FDA/CFSAN, will consider recent advances in analytical methodology for the detection of food allergens, including new methods developed using nanotechnology. FDA research chemist Timothy Duncan will pick up on Jackson’s discussion, focusing on   toxin sensing for the detection of botulinum using nanocrystals (quantum dots.)

Next, Alex LeBeau, a toxicologist at the Burdock Group, will offer a deep dive into the FDA’s regulations related to the use of nanotechnology in food production. He will zero in on FDA’s role in the evaluation and regulation of nanotechnology in the food arena, offering a careful evaluation of the benefits and risks of the use of nanotechnology in food. The symposium’s final speaker, Odete Mendes, director of toxicology and pathology for Product Safety Labs, will share insights on safety testing considerations of nanomaterials. This is an important issue because due to their small size, nanomaterials may be retained in cells and organs to a larger extent than particles of similar size. As the presenter will explain, for this reason, the physico-chemical characterization of nanomaterials is critical to assessing biological/toxicological responses.

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