As food supply chains become increasingly global and complex, and residue screening workflows require the screening of ever larger numbers of expected and unexpected analytes, food testing laboratories requires robust solutions that can meet not only today’s food safety standards—but tomorrow’s analytes too.
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Explore This IssueAugust/September 2017
Bromirski is Q Exactive product marketing manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Reach him at email@example.com.
Pesticide Absorption via Food Nanoemulsions
University of Massachusetts Amherst food scientist David Julian McClements will lead a team that has received a three-year, $444,550 grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the possibility that eating food nanoemulsions found in dressings, dips, or sauces might increase the amount of pesticides absorbed from co-ingested fruits and vegetables, thus increasing risk of adverse health effects.
Previously, McClements, who is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in using food nanoemulsions to deliver nutrients and nutraceuticals, and his colleagues have shown that food nanoemulsions increase the bioavailability of beneficial nutrients, vitamins, and nutraceuticals. These bioactive molecules may be encapsulated within the nanoemulsions or they may be present in foods eaten along with the nanoemulsions.
However, an unintended consequence could be that the food nanoemulsions also enhance the absorption of undesirable compounds in foods such as pesticides, which may increase their toxicity.
Using in vitro gastrointestinal tract cell culture and animal models, the researchers plan to conduct experiments with nanoemulsions containing particles with differing compositions, sizes, interfacial chemistries, and charge to systematically examine the impact of the composition and structure of nanoemulsions on their ability to increase the bioavailability of common pesticides on treated fruits and vegetables. They also intend to establish the underlying physicochemical mechanisms involved.—FQ&S