On December 10, 2008, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) held a one-day workshop to further explore the use of nanotechnology in food. Specifically, the workshop was organized around three primary topic areas: (1) the application of nanotechnology to food products (“Session 1”); (2) the safety and efficacy of nanomaterials in food products (“Session 2”); and (3) educating and informing consumers about the applications of nanotechnology to food products (“Session 3”). Ten experts who have been involved in food nanotechnology since its inception and who are recognized as world authorities in the field were invited to give presentations. Each session comprised three or four presentations, followed by open discussion.
This report is a summary of the presentations and discussions that took place during the workshop. The organization of the workshop report parallels the organization of the workshop itself, with the Session 1 presentations and discussions summarized in Chapter 2 (“Application of Nanotechnology to Food Products”); Session 2 presentations and discussions summarized in Chapter 3 (“Safety and Efficacy of Nanomaterials in Food Products”); and Session 3 presentations and discussions summarized in Chapter 4 (“Educating and Informing Consumers About Applications of Nanotechnology to Food Products”). Each chapter begins with an overview of the major issues addressed during that session.
The meeting transcripts and presentations served as the basis for the summary. The agenda for the workshop appears in Appendix A, and Appendix B lists the workshop participants. Appendix C contains the biographical sketches for the presenters, moderators, and panelists. Appendix D lists acronyms and abbreviations used throughout the workshop. The reader should be aware that the material presented here expresses the views and opinions of individuals participating in the workshop either as presenters, panelists or audience members, and not the deliberations or conclusions of a formally constituted IOM committee. The objective of the workshop was not to come to consensus on any single issue. Nor was the goal to comprehensively address all pertinent food safety issues. It was to examine ways that nanotechnology applications in food and nutrients can contribute to the wellbeing of the general public and safety of nanotechnology in food products. These proceedings summarize only the statements of workshop participants and are not intended to be an exhaustive exploration of the subject matter.
Food Forum Chair Michael Doyle opened the meeting with some brief introductory remarks. While there would be some discussion later during the workshop around the lack of consensus regarding a specific