The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week issued its final guidance on the use of nanotechnology in food production. “Final Guidance for Industry: Assessing the Effects of Significant Manufacturing Process Changes, Including Emerging Technologies, on the Safety and Regulatory Status of Food Ingredients and Food Contact Substances, Including Food Ingredients that Are Color Additives” reflects public comment received on the corresponding draft guidance documents which were issued in 2012.
“This is an important step in clarifying how nanotechnology can be incorporated into food manufacturing,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards. “With this guidance, FDA has signaled that it plans to approach nanotechnology in a cautious way.”
Nanotechnology is an emerging technology that allows scientists to create, explore, and manipulate materials on a scale measured in nanometers – particles so small that they cannot be seen with a regular microscope. The technology has a broad range of potential applications, such as improving the packaging of food. Industry groups generally define nanoparticles as those less than 100 nanometers wide. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. A human hair by comparison is 80,000 nanometers thick, while a sheet of paper is 100,000 nanometers.
The FDA said it will “continue to pursue its ongoing scientific research and regulatory efforts and will consider new studies and data, as they become available, to determine future actions.”
Allan is reviewing this highly complex emerging technology and its impact on the production of dairy foods. For more information, please contact John Allan at firstname.lastname@example.org.