commercial nanoparticles are often used to enhance products. They are being incorporated into a variety of products including sunscreen, air purification, wastewater filtration and heavy metal removal systems.
Chemical and physical properties of nanoparticles are dependent on their size, shape and oxidation state (i.e., amorphous or crystalline). They also vary in their reactivity and toughness depending on their structure.
Synthesis of nanoparticles involves wet chemistry methods. These methods may require multiple synthesis steps, the inclusion of solvents and surfactants, or a combination of these factors. The process usually involves drop casting the solution onto a substrate of interest to a desired final size or characterization.
The size and shape of nanoparticles can have a significant effect on their bioavailability, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract. Larger particles have a higher probability of reaching target tissues. Non-spherical and discoid shapes are preferentially localized to blood vessels. In addition, the presence of NPs within the food matrix affects their behavior in the human gastrointestinal tract. These factors have led to the development of nanostructured delivery systems in foods.