Multi-stakeholder expert evaluations of materials, scenarios, and methods to support reliable measurement of engineered nanomaterials in foods and polymers

M. Hill, S. Roberts, J.A. Shatkin, L. Tsytsikova, R. Canady
ILSI Research Foundation, US

Keywords: food, carbon nanotubes, polymers, methods, characterization, detection, release, nanomaterials, nanoparticles


Engineered nanomaterials (ENM) are being used or developed to benefit many different fields. The lack of widely accepted methods to assess the release and persistence of ENM causes ongoing debates about potential hazard, thus inhibiting the efficient development of sustainable, safe ENM applications. NanoRelease is a public-private partnership addressing what is “released” as an engineered nanoparticle from uses of nanotechnology, aiming to develop methods to measure release. NanoRelease has identified food nanotechnology and multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) in polymers (for consumer products) as important applications to address first. NanoRelease has conducted extensive technical discussions across stakeholder experts about what is “nano” in foods, how to measure ENM uptake by the body, and how to measure release of MWCNT from polymers. Experts in the project (product developers, government reviewers, academia) worked together to create 8 white papers (nearing completion), to identify methods development needs. In the process of these evaluations, experts in the project have gathered extensive information databases relevant to engineered nanomaterials in foods and polymer matrices. Using the information gathered thus far, NanoRelease is designing methods development work plans (to begin pilot and inter-laboratory development in 2013-2014) to address the measurement needs informed by the white papers.