Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Nanotech Cleared in Food Additives and Packaging

By AusSMC

Food Standards Australia New Zealand has released two reports reviewing the evidence for the safety of nanotechnologies in food packaging and in food additives. Based on patent searches rather than on nanotech declarations to the regulator, the reports suggest there is no direct evidence that novel nanomaterials are currently being used in food packaging applications in Australia or New Zealand.

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“The use of nanomaterials in food packaging offers a lot of benefits and new opportunities. These include the promise of offering extended shelf-life to perishable foods such as red meat and chicken, giving significant food safety and health benefits – not to mention the cost and environmental savings associated with less food wastage. This report is a positive step forward to allowing this to happen in Australia and letting us catch up to other parts of the world.”

Professor David Lewis is Director of the Centre for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Flinders University.


“The recent reviews conducted for FSANZ of nano-sized materials in food and food packaging draw conclusions largely consistent with the overall body of evidence and with previous considerations by other regulatory agencies. The human diet naturally contains material in the nanometre size range, and nanoparticulate material, such as silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide, has been a component of some foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals for many decades. Regardless of the particle size of soluble food components, once dissolved they are indistinguishable from traditional materials. Although the safety of any food additive requires, and receives, careful assessment by regulatory bodies prior to approval, overall the safety or otherwise of food additives and...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.