FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on the Application of Nanotechnologies in the Food and Agriculture Sectors
Potential Food Safety Implications

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ISBN : 9789251065068 EAN : 9789251065068
FAO
The advent of nanotechnology has unleashed enormous prospects for the development of new products and applications for a wide range of industrial and consumer sectors. The new technological developments have already opened up a multibillion dollar industry in recent years, the global market impact of which is expected to reach US$1 trillion by 2015, with around 2 million workers. While the majority of manufacturing and use of nanoscale materials occurs in the United States, the European Union, with its around 30 percent global share of the sector, is not lagging far behind in this field. Like other sectors, nanotechnology promises to revolutionize the whole food chain - from production to processing, storage, and development of innovative materials, products and applications. Although the potential applications of nanotechnoloy are wide ranging, the current applications in the food and agricultural sectors are relatively few, because the science is still newly emergent. An overview of more than 800 nanotechnology-based consumer products that are currently available worldwide, suggests that only around 10 percent of these are foods, beverages and food packaging products. However, nanotechnology-derived products and applications in these sectors have been steadily increasing in recent years, and are predicted to grow rapidly in the future. This is because the new technologies have a great potential to address many of the industry's current needs. Many countries have identifed the potential of nanotechnology in the food and agriculture sectors and are investing significantly in its applications to food production. However, owing to our limited knowledge of the human health effects of these applications, these countries recognize the need for early consideration of the food safety implications of the technology.