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NanoLyse Press release (10th February, 2010) (pdf)

Detection of nanoparticles in food

RIKILT – Institute of Food Safety, part of Wageningen UR, coordinates the EU project NanoLyse. The project was set up in order to develop methods for the detection of engineered nanoparticles in food.

Nanoparticles have chemical and physical properties which differ from larger particles and the individual atoms and molecules that make up those particles. They therefore may behave differently in humans and animals. While these new characteristics make applications in food and other areas an interesting prospect, they could also pose risks.

At present, there are no suitable methods for detecting the presence of nanoparticles in food reliably and simply. As a result, it is not possible to determine the level of exposure of consumers. This shortcoming was picked out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2009 as one of the most important knowledge gaps in the risk assessment of nanoparticles in food.

For this reason, research methods are being developed within NanoLyse for the detection and identification of a number of important types of nanoparticles in food. The information that can be gained through these measurement methods is essential for a reliable risk assessment by authorities, policymakers and the business community.

Within NanoLyse, RIKILT works alongside universities, research institutes and small and medium-sized enterprises in various European countries and Canada. The project will run for three years (2010 – 2012).


More information about this article is available from Jeannette Leenders, [email protected]

RIKILT – Institute of Food Safety is part of Wageningen University & Research centre.


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