There is little doubt about the promise of nanotechnology in fields as diverse as electronics, textiles, cosmetics, and even the production of food. The intelligent alteration of materials to improve their performance is what nanotechnology is all about. This includes the drug industry where medications are being altered by nanotechnology to improve their effect while reducing unwanted side effects.
And the food industry is also ripe with possibilities about how nanotechnology can improve all types of foods. By adjusting the levels of proteins, carbohydrates, and other nutraceuticals, food itself can be improved across the board. The potential is staggering as instead of eating a healthy diet to lose unwanted fat and improve overall health, the very food itself is made better through the process of nanotechnology. You don’t change what you eat, the food itself changes for the better.
How Nutraceuticals are Affected
The use of nanotechnology in nutraceuticals is more than simply adjusting the number of nutrients in food, but also in terms of improving the absorption of the beneficial elements without changing the taste or the satisfaction derived from its consumption. This means that nanotechnology is being used on compounds that are soluble, but poorly absorbed and improving them to the point where the body is more capable of pulling in the necessary nutrients.
In other words, that piece of fruit, bread, vegetable, or other food product has compounds that are beneficial to the body but may not be fully absorbed through the digestive process. While there are different factors that go into how well the stomach and intestinal tract can absorb nutrients, there are beneficial compounds that can pass through without being fully absorbed.
Nanotechnology changes that by altering the shape or solubility of the compound, allowing for the digestive system to fully absorb the nutrients that are present. This means that food become more potent and the beneficial elements can be absorbed more fully without altering the components that make up the food itself.
In other words, it may taste the same, have the same texture, and be indistinguishable from a food that has not been altered by nanotechnology. But the nutrients inside have been altered so the body can better absorb them.
The Future of Nanotechnology in Nutraceuticals
Currently, nutraceuticals are important, but often lack the permeability, stability, and bioavailability to be fully utilized. Nanotechnology can alter that in the production process, so that they become better quality, more stable, and have a greater absorption in the human body.
The possibilities are impressive when you consider that such nutraceuticals may be altered to create greater benefits to the body, such as reducing inflammation, destroying unwanted microbes, and even stopping cancer in its tracks. Elements that may have toxic or harmful effects on the body can be neutralized which in turn means enjoying a better quality of life.
The future looks bright for nanotechnology and its effects on nutraceuticals. The applications may go well beyond what is being imagined today based on the promise that this technology offers for the world.