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iScience
Vol.23 (5), 2020


Developing Nano-Delivery Systems for Agriculture and Food Applications with Nature-Derived Polymers

Kaarunya Sampathkumar1, Kei Xian Tan1Say Chye JoachimLoo1,2,3

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore

Abstract

The applications of nanotechnology are wide ranging, and developing functional nanomaterials for agri-food applications from nature-derived polymers is widely conceived as a sustainable approach that is safer for human and animal consumption. In light of this, this review focuses on the advances in the development of nano-delivery systems using nature-derived polymers for agri-food applications. The review opens with a section detailing the different types of nature-derived polymers currently being used in various applications in the agri-food industry with a special mention on microbial extracellular polymeric materials. The major applications of nano-delivery systems in the food sector, such as food fortification and food preservation, as well as in the agricultural sector for controlled release of agrochemicals using nature-derived polymers are discussed. The review ends with a perspective on the safety and public perception of nano-enabled foods with a concluding remark on future directions of incorporating nano-delivery systems for agri-food purposes.

Graphical Abstract

Keywords: Nanotechnology, Agricultural Science, Food Science, Polymers

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