Nano Biomedicine

The Convergence of Food Irradiation, Nanomaterials and Polymer Packaging: Innovation, Possibilities and Benefits

Elisabetta CANETTA1, Geoffrey HUNT2, and Masami MATSUDA3
1School of Sport, Health and Applied Science, St Maryfs University, Twickenham, UK
2Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
3Department of Health and Nutrition, Faculty of Contemporary Human Life Science,
Tokyo Kasei-gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan

Nano Biomed 2016;8(1): 1-14, (June 30, Nano Biomedicine)

Newly emerging and innovative technologies are converging, so that one new technology can enhance the use of the other, and there are benefits of the convergence that are greater than the sum of its parts. Convergence is a fruitful area for addressing some global crises, and in particular the emerging food crisis. The global population is now over seven billion people and will reach 9.3 billion by 2050, pushing up food demand by about 60%. Food irradiation technology and polymer nanomaterials for food packaging are developing in parallel. Both of these technologies have specific benefits and risks of their own. Unanswered questions in the literature are about the possibilities of combining these technologies, how the benefit/risk balance is altered, and whether such a convergence is publicly acceptable. This paper begins to gathering and relating basic facts that may assist in seeking answers to these questions. It overviews some of the technical possibilities and the benefit/risk issues involved in the possible convergence of nanomaterials, polymer-packaging materials and food irradiation.

Key words: converging technologies, emerging technologies, ethics of technology, food irradiation, food packaging materials, innovation, nanomaterials

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