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Nanotechnologies in Food and Agriculture
2015, Pages: 119-139

Nanobiotechnology Strategies for Delivery of Antimicrobials in Agriculture and Food

Adriano Brandelli

Laboratório de Bioquímica e Microbiologia Aplicada, Departamento de Ciência de Alimentos, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.


The great advances in nanotechnology and materials science point to an important increase in the application of nanomaterials in agriculture and allied sciences in the next future. Microbial spoilage of crops and foods is associated with huge economical loses, and the utilization of nanoformulated antimicrobial substances arises as an interesting alternative to confront the damage caused by such microorganisms. Antimicrobial nanoparticles can find several applications in agriculture and food packaging, and the effectiveness of metallic nanoparticles including silver, nickel, iron, and zinc oxides has been demonstrated in many systems. Also, the entrapment of antimicrobial substances in different nanostructures may represent an alternative for delivery of these compounds. A diversity of nanovesicles has been developed for encapsulation of antimicrobial substances, including both natural and synthetic polymers as encapsulating material. Nanofibers may be interesting nanostructures for antimicrobial delivery, allowing different physical modes of antimicrobial loading, including direct adsorption on the nanofiber surface or the assembly of drug-loaded nanoparticles. Magnetic nanoparticles and nanotubes are also structures with potential application for entrapment of antimicrobials. This chapter presents the most important nanostructures as promising tools for antimicrobial delivery systems in agricultural and food applications.


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