Press review 2018/1

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Author: Diána Bánáti


Outlook and Challenges of Nanotechnologies for Food Packaging


By Yves Wyser1, Michael Adams2, Maurizio Avella3, David Carlander4, Leonor Garcia5, Gabriele Pieper6, Monique Rennen7, Jeroen Schuermans8*, and Jochen Weiss9


1Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne 26, Switzerland

2Food and Drug Administration, College Park, MD USA

3Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials – CNR, Pozzuoli (NA), Italy

4Nanotechnology Industries Association – NIA, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Belgium

5Coca-Cola Company, Brussels, Belgium (current: PlasticsEurope, Brussels, Belgium)

6Tetra Pak, Stuttgart, Germany

7TNO, Zeist, The Netherlands

8ILSI Europe, Brussels, Belgium

9University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany

*Correspondence to: Jeroen Schuermans, ILSI Europe, Avenue E. Mounier 83, Box 6 B-1200 Brussels, Belgium. E-mail:




Nanotechnology has been considered to have high potential for food packaging applications very early on.

The ability to provide additional consumer benefits through the improvement of key properties of packaging materials and the creation of new functionalities means that the increased use of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies is highly likely. It has however up to now failed to reach the widespread use that was initially expected, mainly because of remaining uncertainties on the safety of these materials during the various stages of their life-cycle, which limit legal and consumer acceptance.

This paper aims at presenting the latest developments in the field of nanotechnologies for food packaging applications, describing the legal framework linked to their usage and attempts to clarify the current knowledge of the safety of these materials both for the consumer and the environment.

It is shown that particulate migration into foodstuff is absent in many applications, which drastically reduces the potential risk during the use phase of packaging materials, i.e. the exposure of the consumer to nanoparticles. Other release routes are also evaluated, showing that, although safe in normal use conditions, prudence should still be used, especially with regard to release after disposal of the materials.


This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright © 2016 The Authors Packaging Technology and Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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