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How Will Nanotechnology Keep Your Food Safe?

nano food safety

Did you know you use nanotechnology every day? Our smartphones have nanoscale transistors, some have silver nanowires for touch screens, and some have nanocoatings for protection from water. Even our clothes can have nanowhiskers that keep them stain free. And what about our cars? Cars have bumpers and batteries that are more effective thanks to nanotechnology. But all of these improvements are invisible to us. 

For example, you can’t see the nanotechnology being used in food containers to help keep our food save. Adding nanomaterials to plastic makes it more impenetrable and when lightweight nano-enabled sensors are integrated into packaging consumers see when food has spoiled.

As scientists and engineers work to make food safer with nanotechnology, they also aim to safely develop nanotechnology. For example, while the addition of antimicrobial silver nanoparticles to food containers can protect us from foodborne bacteria, researchers are working to understand the transfer of the silver to the food we eat. As scientists and engineers continue to work at the nanoscale, they are also doing what they can to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Student animators Shelby Weaver and Zach Outen from Western Carolina University explored some of the issues surrounding how nanotechnology can keep our food safe.

Animator-Shelby Weaver, Narrator-Kelseigh Bein, Composer-Matt Brooks, Recording Engineer-Parker Walrod

Animator-Zach Outen, Voice-Matt Howie, Music and Recording Engineer-Parker Walrod

To learn more about nanotechnology, watch “How Do Doctors Target Diseased Cells?”, “How Do You See the Nanoscale?”, “What’s a Quantum Dot?”, “What Can Nanotechnology Do For You?”, “How Can Nanotechnology Save Energy?”, and “How Will Nanotechnology Improve Your Health?”, and How Will Nanotechnology Help Farmers Grow Their Crops?


Animator-Shelby Weaver, Narrator-Kelseigh Bein, Composer-Matt Brooks, Recording Engineer-Parker Walrod


Animator-Zach Outen, Voice-Matt Howie, Music and Recording Engineer-Parker Walrod

Article by: Dr. Quinn Spadola, Associate Director of Education and Outreach for the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure and Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor at the Georgia Institute of Technology.