Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

Nanopackaging, a benefit for environment

Images obtained from www.thecoolhunter.co.uk

Images obtained from http://www.thecoolhunter.co.uk

The Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS made a study on nanotechnology in food sector. This study evaluates the products related to food from the viewpoint of environmental and sustainability. The abstract of this study entitled “Dinner is served!. Nanotechnology in the kitchen and in the shopping basket” is available via web. Even though the study focuses on the analysis of the Swiss market, we can extrapolate some conclusions drawn from it to other markets.

For the time being, as shown in the study, nanotechnology has not had a noticeable impact on the food market, rather low. Furthermore, according to the TA-SWISS, the role of technology in food will be restricted to a subordinate role in order to make nutrition more sustainable.

Related to the food market, there is a sector in which nanotechnology is commonly used and has a high potential for innovation as well. This sector is the food packaging. In this sense, nanopackaging will lead to better conservation of food and produce less waste and therefore less pollution, as is expected.

Using nanomaterials in packaging provides a better barrier against gases, water and spices, and improve the mechanical and thermal protection and UV protection.

According to the mentioned study that made a life cycle analysis of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) nanotechnology optimized bottles, the use of nanotechnology in the production of PET bottles has been a positive influence on the CO2 balance. Only Switzerland emitted 10,000 fewer tones of damaging substances to atmosphere. Manufacturing, transportation and recycling of nanoPET bottles generates around a third less greenhouse gas emissions than aluminum and about 60 per cent less than available glass bottles.

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March 2, 2009 - Posted by | Nano News

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