Food processing is related to the practice adopted by the food and beverages industries to change raw plant and animal materials in to 'ready to eat form'. Nanomaterials are applied to food technology with respect to their properties and predetermined set goals such as taste, flavor, shelf-life, appearance, likes and dislikes of the consumers. Nanomaterials have specific potentials depending on their physicochemical properties such as surface effect, small size effect, quantum size effect and quantum tunneling effect. These properties regulate their behavior in the biosystem for they may be either tolerated or be the cause of disturbance to biochemical and/or physiological homeostasis. Mostly nanomaterials have the ability to reach target tissues or organs where their counterparts fail to reach in the organism. Nanoparticles like zinc, calcium and silver are found to be biocompatible and antimicrobial in nature. Hence, these are used in the form of edible film incorporated with cinnamon or oregano oil in the packaging of food. Generally, polymers are incorporated with the nanomaterials and are used in food packaging and food processing. Food processing is aimed at good food quality and safe evaluation by improving food sensing and better nanostructured ingredients. These nanomaterials improve the flexibility and durability of the food contents. The nanomaterials enter the body along with the food products, beverages and other drinks for consumption. Understanding the mechanism involved in toxicity due to nanomaterials may provide necessary information about the nanomaterials which will act as guide lines for their appropriate use in food technology and its related aspects. This will also help to develop more innovative devises to meet the future challenges in food technology. This overview is intended to evaluate the extent of overall role of nanomaterials in food technology.
Keywords: Nanomaterials, biocompatibility, food-packaging, food safety, food processing