Nanostructured Colloids in Food Science

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Nanostructured colloids are materials with at least one dimension in the nanometer range (<100 nm). Such materials find multiple and exciting applications in various areas of food science, and can lead to development of new and innovative food products and ingredients.

Nanostructured colloids can be naturally present in food or they can be synthetically manufactured and added during different stages of food production and packaging. The building blocks of nanostructures in food consist of organic molecules (proteins, lipids, saccharides), inorganics (metal and metal oxides, carbon-based materials, clays) and combined organic and inorganic compounds. Some examples of nanostructured colloids naturally occurring in food include fat globules in homogenized milk, casein micelles, β-lactoglobulin fibers in milk.

Synthetically manufactured colloids (artificial and engineered) include nanoemulsions, nanomicelles, nanocapsules, nanofoams, nanoliposomes, nanogels, nanofibers, metal and metal oxide nanoparticles. Synthetically manufactured nanostructures are normally added in food to enhance solubility, improve bioavailability, protect the biologically active compounds from degradation, increase the shelf life, color, flavor, and add nutritional value. Exciting fields of applications of nanostructured colloids in food science comprise: functional food ingredients, food additives, food supplements, food packaging and nanosensors.

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Cristina Coman (November 5th 2018). Nanostructured Colloids in Food Science, Some New Aspects of Colloidal Systems in Foods, Jafar M. Milani, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.79882. Available from: Nanostructured Colloids in Food Science | IntechOpen