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Standards under scrutiny as food giants explore nanotechnology

ABC.net.au

Updated Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:47pm AEDT

An ice cream low in fat, but with the same fatty texture and flavour? Choice says it's one use of nanotechnology that the food industry is researching.

An ice cream low in fat, but with the same fatty texture and flavour? Choice says it’s one use of nanotechnology that the food industry is researching. (Flickr: Jökull Sólberg Auðunsson, file photo)

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Take a strand of your hair, divide its width by 100,000 and that’s the size of a nanoparticle, a tiny particle with the potential to create a big stir in the food world.

The technology promises to make food look and taste better but little is known about its health impact.

Some food giants are reported to be researching the technology, though none have publicly acknowledged it.

Europe is poised for a moratorium on the technology’s use in food, while Australia thinks its current regulatory standards are sufficient.

Consumer magazine Choice says nanotechnology is already used in around 800 products.

These include “invisible sunscreens”, where nanoscale particles of titanium dioxide give transparent protection from UV rays, according to Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn.

For the rest of the article, click on the ABC link at the top of the page.

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