Awareness and attitudes towards the emerging use of nanotechnology in the agri-food sectorFood Control

About

Authors
Caroline E. Handford, Moira Dean, Michelle Spence, Maeve Henchion, Christopher T. Elliott, Katrina Campbell
Year
2015
DOI
10.1016/j.foodcont.2015.03.033
Subject
Food Science / Biotechnology

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Text

Accepted Manuscript

Awareness and Attitudes towards the Emerging Use of Nanotechnology in the Agrifood Sector

Caroline E. Handford, Moira Dean, Michelle Spence, Maeve Henchion, Christopher T.

Elliott, Katrina Campbell

PII: S0956-7135(15)00196-6

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2015.03.033

Reference: JFCO 4376

To appear in: Food Control

Received Date: 20 October 2014

Revised Date: 24 March 2015

Accepted Date: 31 March 2015

Please cite this article as: Handford C.E., Dean M., Spence M., Henchion M., Elliott C.T. & Campbell K.,

Awareness and Attitudes towards the Emerging Use of Nanotechnology in the Agri-food Sector, Food

Control (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2015.03.033.

This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As a service to our customers we are providing this early version of the manuscript. The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof before it is published in its final form. Please note that during the production process errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal pertain.

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Awareness and Attitudes towards the Emerging Use of Nanotechnology in the Agri-food 1

Sector 2 3

Caroline E. Handford1, Moira Dean1, Michelle Spence1, Maeve Henchion2, Christopher T. 4

Elliott1, Katrina Campbell1* 5 6 1Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University 7

Belfast, 18-30 Malone Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT9 5BN, United Kingdom. 8 9 2Teagasc, Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15, Ireland 10 11 *Corresponding author: Katrina Campbell, +44 (0) 28 90976535. 12

Fax: +44 (0)28 90976513. 13

Email: katrina.campbell@qub.ac.uk 14 15

Declaration of financial interests: The authors have no actual or potential competing financial 16 interests to declare. 17 18

List of abbreviations: 19

GM, Genetic Modification 20

IoI, Island of Ireland 21

NI, Northern Ireland 22

ROI, Republic of Ireland 23

SME, Small and Medium enterprise 24 25

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Abstract 26

Nanotechnology has relevance to applications in all areas of agri-food including agriculture, 27 aquaculture, production, processing, packaging, safety and nutrition. Scientific literature 28 indicates uncertainties in food safety aspects about using nanomaterials due to potential 29 health risks. To date the agri-food industry’s awareness and attitude towards nanotechnology 30 have not been addressed. We surveyed the awareness and attitudes of agri-food organisations 31 on the island of Ireland (IoI) with regards to nanotechnology. A total of 14 agri-food 32 stakeholders were interviewed and 88 agri-food stakeholders responded to an on-line 33 questionnaire. The findings indicate that the current awareness of nanotechnology 34 applications in the agri-food sector on the IoI is low and respondents are neither positive nor 35 negative towards agri-food applications of nanotechnology. Safer food, reduced waste and 36 increased product shelf life were considered to be the most important benefits to the agri-food 37 industry. Knowledge of practical examples of agri-food applications is limited however 38 opportunities were identified in precision farming techniques, innovative packaging, 39 functional ingredients and nutrition of foods, processing equipment, and safety testing. 40

Perceived impediments to nanotechnology adoption were potential unknown human health 41 and environmental impacts, consumer acceptance and media framing. The need for a risk 42 assessment framework, research into long term health and environmental effects, and better 43 engagement between scientists, government bodies, the agri-food industry and the public 44 were identified as important. 45 46

Key words: Agriculture, Agri-food, Attitudes, Awareness, Food industry, Nanotechnology 47 48 49 50 51 52 53

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ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT 3 54 55 1. Introduction 56

Nanotechnology is the manipulation of materials and structures at sizes in the nanoscale 57 range, approximately between 1 and 100 nanometres (European Food Safety Authority, 58 2009). Nanotechnology research is attracting large scale investments by leading producers of 59 agricultural and food products with some food, beverage and packaging products that 60 incorporate nanotechnologies already commercially available in certain countries (Gruère, 61 2012; Momin, Jayakumar, & Prajapati, 2013). Applications of nanotechnology are relevant to 62 all areas of food science (Figure 1), including agriculture, food processing, packaging, safety, 63 nutrition and nutraceuticals (Chaudhry et al., 2008; Sozer, & Kokini, 2009; Chaudhry, & 64

Castle, 2011; Duncan, 2011; Mousavi, & Rezaei, 2011; Rashidi, & Khosravi-Darani, 2011; 65

Araújo et al., 2013; Durán, & Marcato, 2013; Ezhilarasi, Karthik, Chhanwal, & 66

Anandharamakrishnan, 2013; Kalpana Sastry, Anshul, & Rao, 2013; Momin, Jayakumar, & 67

Prajapati, 2013; Agrawal, & Rathore, 2014; Sekhon, 2014). It is anticipated that 68 nanotechnology will bring significant benefits to the agri-food industry and consumers 69 including more efficient food production methods, the development of functional foods 70 which offer health claims, increased shelf life of food products, more hygienic food 71 processing, and improved traceability and safety of products (Chaudhry, & Castle, 2011; 72

Ranjan et al., 2014). Nanofoods and nanopackagings have already been commercialised in 73 some countries; these are identified in the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, Consumer 74

Products Inventory (http://www.nanotechproject.org/cpi/), though this list is not definitive. 75

For example, Shemen Industries have incorporated nanoparticles into their Canola Active Oil 76 to enable penetration of healthy components (such as vitamins), while Voridan has developed 77 a nanocomposite to be used in their beer bottle plastics to make them harder and stronger. 78