Food which nanotechnology has impacted or to which nanotechnology is applied is referred to as nanofood.  From treatment of the soil in which a crop plant is grown to the caring of a food, nanotechnology is a growing factor in the food supply. At this point, however, there is no definitive, effective global method for regulating the use of nanotechnology as it relates to the food suply.

Legislation on nanotechnologies is still evolving, as is understanding what data is needed for effective, efficient and appropriate risk assessment associated with nanotechnology impacted foods. Due to the emerging nature of nanotechnology and its role in the food supply, case-by-case studies are the current norm, but the need for wide-scale testing and broad-based regulatory standards is urgent.

This project is based on an EFFoST study designed to provide a comparative study of nanofood regulations in order to guide regulation development in this rapidly expanding market.

Key Features

  • Provides comparative study of nanofood regulations in order to guide regulation development in this rapidly expanding market
  • Includes both case-by-case examples and more broad-based insights
  • Provides models for regulation specifically for regulating nanotechnology as applied to food



Those working with nanotechnology as related to the production of food, those establishing policy and regulations

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements

Executive Summary


Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 Why Regulate the Application of Nanotechnologies in Food?

1.2 Applications of Nanotechnologies in Food and Agriculture

1.3 The Challenge to Regulate Nanotechnology in Food

1.4 Objectives, Methods and Scope of the Study

1.5 Structure of the Study

Chapter 2. Requirements for Food Safety Regulation

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Fundamental Principles of Food Safety Governance

2.3 Risk Analysis as a Method to Determine the Regulatory Outcome

2.4 Increasing Responsibility of Businesses (Private) Risk Assessors

2.5 Consequences for Regulation

Chapter 3. Safety Frame Applied to Food Applications of Nanotechnology

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Food Business

3.3 Food Products

3.4 Process

3.5 Communication

3.6 Food Contact Materials

3.7 Recommendation

Chapter 4. Case-by-Case Premarket Approval

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Object of Approval

4.3 Subject of Approval

4.4 Scope of Approval

4.5 Assessment

4.6 Generally Recognized as Safe

4.7 A Responsive System?

Chapter 5. Nano-Specific Regulation

5.1 Towards a Legal Concept

Chapter 6. Regulatory Burdens

6.1 Burdens

6.2 Other Concerns

6.3 Alleviating Burdens

6.4 Global Harmonisation?

Chapter 7. A Responsive Regulatory System

Chapter 8. Conclusions and Way Forward

8.1 Recommendations to Legislatures

8.2 Recommendation to the Scientific Community

8.3 Recommendation to International Risk Assessment Authorities

Appendix A. Analytical Framework

A.1 Elements of Food Safety Regulation

A.2 Requirements on Food Businesses

Appendix B. On the Delineation of the Concept ‘Nanotechnology’



No. of pages:
© 2014
Academic Press
Electronic ISBN:
Print ISBN:

About the authors

Bernd Meulen

Bernd van der Meulen (Bachelor/Masters of Law, Masters of Governance, PhD Law) is the head of the Law and Governance Group of Wageningen University, President & co-founder of the Dutch Food Law Association (NVLR) and Director of European Institute for Food Law where he is a supervisor of PhD-researchers and students in organisation, quality assessment, mediation and conflict resolution and served as chair of the exams committee of the Department of Social Sciences at Wageningen University (2002-2012)

Nidhi Gupta

Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands


"The report discusses testing and improving regulatory infrastructures or building new ones to ensure food safety in the face of challenges posed by nanotechnologies. It argues for a principles-based regulatory framework for nanotechnologies, in contrast to conventional rule-based approaches…", April 2014