Nanomaterials in food products and their package: comparative analysis of risks and advantages

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544.73: 613.2

I.V. Gmoshinski, V.A. Shipelin, S.A. Khotimchenko


Federal Research Center for Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety, 2/14 Ust'inskiy proezd, Moscow, 109240, Russian Federation


Nanomaterials (NMs) are applied in many spheres related to food products manufacturing including nano-dispersed forms of food substances, nano-encapsulates, and nano-micelles, food additives with improved functional characteristics, new packaging materials with enhanced gas-, photobarrier, and antimicrobic properties. High chemical and catalytic activity of nanoparticles (NPs) and their ability to penetrate through biological barriers and accumulate in a body makes a lot of NMs toxic, and their toxic properties are to be taken into account when assessing safety of the above-mentioned products. There are some priority NMs from the point of view of risk assessment and prospective hygienic standardization; they are silver NPs, NPs of amorphous silicon dioxide (aerosil), titanium dioxide NPs, and carbon nanotubes. Results of toxicological-hygienic research performed on laboratory animals revealed that a probable allowable daily dose of silicon dioxide (SiO2) NPs consumed with food should not exceed 1 mg/kg of body weight. And as nano-sized SiO2 is used as a food additive, an issue of its hygienic standardization and regulation is truly vital. Silver NPs exert various toxic effects that have been examined in vivo; these effects are based on their ability to promote a dozed release of cytotoxic ions of silver (Ag+) in target organs (first of all, in the liver) under exposure to endogenous oxidants. Signs of silver NPs toxicity become obvious starting from a dose equal to 1 mg/kg of body weight and a maximum no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) can be estimated as 0.1 mg/kg. If values are recalculated for a human body taking into account adjusting coefficients, a non-hazardous dose of silver NPs under oral exposure amounts to 70 µg a day. This estimation coincides with the upper permissible level that is fixed in Russia for consumption of silver as a chemical element. Titanium dioxide NPs and carbon nanotubes considered as possible food contaminants in the long term cause population health risks that require profound toxicological-hygienic assessment.

nanoparticles, silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide, carbon nanotubes, food additives, package, risk assessment
Gmoshinski I.V., Shipelin V.A., Khotimchenko S.A. Nanomaterials in food products and their package: comparative anal-ysis of risks and advantages. Health Risk Analysis, 2018, no. 4, pp. 134–142. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2018.4.16.eng
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