Nanomaterials provide many opportunities to raise the level of French corporate innovation and competitiveness. This perspective pertains in particular to the food processing sector, where reliance on nanomaterials has led to improving the properties of foodstuffs, optimizing transformation processes and obtaining packaging offering advanced features. Some question marks remain however regarding the potential risks associated with these chemical substances, regulatory requirements and choice of preferred analytical methods.
An Administrative order issued on May 5th 2017 established the labeling conditions specific to nanomaterials manufactured for use in foods in the aim of informing the consumer. To this day, the characterization of this type of substance continues to be a highly complex procedure in which reliable measurement data are essential to: ensuring enhanced product performance, appropriately evaluating the risks going forward, and satisfying this labeling obligation.
LNE's expertise in the area of characterizing nanomaterials has now become recognized beyond France's borders. As proof, the Laboratory was invited to participate at a Symposium jointly organized by JRC and the Health Directorate May 3rd and 4th of this year in Ispra (Italy) on the topic of measurement results reliability for nanomaterials used in food products. LNE was France's lone representative on the two-day program, which was dedicated to assessing the current state of progress on: nanomaterial definition, the most relevant characterization methods, and up-to-date knowledge on the potential migration of nano-additives from packaging materials into the actual foodstuffs.