Researchers with the University of Massachusetts Food Science Department have reportedly developed a technique to create transparent, food-grade nanoemulsions using high-pressure homogenization methods. Cheng Qiana and David Julian McClements, “Formation of Nanoemulsions Stabilized by Model Food-Grade Emulsifiers using High Pressure Homogenization: Factors Affecting Particle Size,” Food Hydrocolloids, October 2010.

According to the study, “Nanoemulsions are finding increasing utilization in the food and beverage industries for certain applications because of their unique physicochemical and functional properties: high encapsulation efficiency; low turbidity; high bioavailability; high physical stability. “ Because the nanoparticles can be made transparent, the new technology could act as a delivery system “for non-polar functional components, such as lipophilic bioactive lipids, drugs, flavors, antioxidants, and antimicrobial agents.”

In a related development, a European non-profit media agency specializing in science and technology news has issued a summary that characterizes how NGOs have responded to nanotechnology. Citing Greenpeace Research Laboratories, Friends of the Earth, and European Environmental Bureau, Youris.com claims that NGOs have widely criticized the rapid development of nanomaterials as well as the regulatory framework meant to address concerns over potential toxicity. “Precaution is a word that unites most if not all non-profit organizations concerned with nanotechnology,” concludes Youris.com. “They are blowing the whistle on manufacturers, pointing out that potentially unsafe products should not be on the market. The European Parliament as well as governments in many countries are listening and developing ways to assess possible nanomaterial hazards. This development will most likely continue until sufficient research results are available to thoroughly describe potential risks. When the results are published, these organizations can rewrite their policies.” See Youris.com, October 5, 2010.