Frontiers in microbiology

Interactions between Food Additive Silica Nanoparticles and Food Matrices.

PMID 28638373


Nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely utilized in the food industry as additives with their beneficial characteristics, such as improving sensory property and processing suitability, enhancing functional and nutritional values, and extending shelf-life of foods. Silica is used as an anti-caking agent to improve flow property of powered ingredients and as a carrier for flavors or active compounds in food. Along with the rapid development of nanotechnology, the sizes of silica fall into nanoscale, thereby raising concerns about the potential toxicity of nano-sized silica materials. There have been a number of studies carried out to investigate possible adverse effects of NPs on the gastrointestinal tract. The interactions between NPs and surrounding food matrices should be also taken into account since the interactions can affect their bioavailability, efficacy, and toxicity. In the present study, we investigated the interactions between food additive silica NPs and food matrices, such as saccharides, proteins, lipids, and minerals. Quantitative analysis was performed to determine food component-NP corona using HPLC, fluorescence quenching, GC-MS, and ICP-AES. The results demonstrate that zeta potential and hydrodynamic radius of silica NPs changed in the presence of all food matrices, but their solubility was not affected. However, quantitative analysis on the interactions revealed that a small portion of food matrices interacted with silica NPs and the interactions were highly dependent on the type of food component. Moreover, minor nutrients could also affect the interactions, as evidenced by higher NP interaction with honey rather than with a simple sugar mixture containing an equivalent amount of fructose, glucose, sucrose, and maltose. These findings provide fundamental information to extend our understanding about the interactions between silica NPs and food components and to predict the interaction effect on the safety aspects of food-grade NPs.