Nanoparticles in food. Epigenetic changes induced by nanomaterials and possible impact on health
B. Smolkova, N. El Yamani, A. R. Collins, A. C. Gutleb, and M. Dusinska
Food and Chemical Toxicology, vol. 77, pp. 64-73, 2015
Disturbed epigenetic mechanisms, which developmentally regulate gene expression via modifications to DNA, histone proteins, and chromatin, have been hypothesized to play a key role in many human diseases. Recently it was shown that engineered nanoparticles (NPs), that already have a wide range of applications in various fields including food production, could dramatically affect epigenetic processes, while their ability to induce diseases remains poorly understood. Besides the obvious benefits of the new technologies, it is critical to assess their health effects before proceeding with industrial production. In this article, after surveying the applications of NPs in food technology, we review recent advances in the understanding of epigenetic pathological effects of NPs, and discuss their possible health impact with the aim of avoiding potential health risks posed by the use of nanomaterials in foods and food-packaging.