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Potential Health Risks Associated with Nanotechnologies in Existing Food Additives

​(June 2016)

This report was commissioned by Food Standards Australia New Zealand and prepared by ToxConsult Pty Ltd.

Introduction

Throughout the world nanotechnologies are increasingly being used, or are proposed to be used, to advance various aspects of food production. Included is direct addition to food of nano-substances to improve desirable attributes during manufacture, use and/or storage. This review, commissioned by FSANZ, examines the scientific literature to determine whether there is currently objective evidence for determining if adverse health effects may be associated with nano-forms of insoluble inorganic food additives. In this review such nano-substances are called engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). Traditionally an ENM is defined as a particle with at least one size aspect less than 100nm. This review is primarily concerned with whether the small size confers novel attributes to the food additive that result in demonstrably different health risks relative to the same additive used in non-nano (i.e. bulk) form. The manner in which health risk possibly associated with nanotechnology applications in the food sector is managed by international food regulatory authorities is summarised in Appendix B.
 

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