In an article published on June 3, 2016 the Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) informs about new peer-reviewed reports from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) finding that nanomaterials are safe for food grade materials and food packaging. The reports were commissioned by FSANZ and prepared by Australian consulting firm ToxConsult Pty Ltd. who reviewed publicly available scientific literature to assess the evidence of health risks associated with oral ingestion of titanium dioxide (TiO2), silicon dioxide (SiO2), and silver (Ag) in food. Further, the evidence of risks to health from nanomaterials used in food packaging was investigated. According to the reports, the weight of evidence does not support claims of significant health risks for TiO2, SiO2, and Ag in food grade materials. Also, there is no evidence from the literature of migration of nano-clay from packaging into food. Nanosilver, whether used in packaging or food, is also not likely to be dangerous to consumers’ health. Further, the reports state there is no direct evidence suggesting the use of novel nanomaterials in food packaging applications in Australia or New Zealand.
TiO2 and SiO2 are approved food additives in Australia and New Zealand. Ag is also approved as food additive but only permitted in very few foods. FSANZ notes that the findings of the reports are consistent with the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials’ toxicological dossiers on TiO2, SiO2, and Ag.
NIA (June 3, 2016). “Report finds no food safety risk from nanomaterials.”
FSANZ (June 2016). “Reports on the use of nanotechnology in food additives and packaging.”
ToxConsult Pty Ltd. (May 2016). “Potential health risks associated with nanotechnologies in existing food additives.” (pdf)
ToxConsult Pty Ltd. (May 2016). “Nanotechnologies in food packaging: An exploratory appraisal of safety and regulation.” (pdf)