Jochen Weiss, professor of food science at the University of Hohenheim in Germany, is using nanotechnology to fortify foods with nutrients.
Jochen Weiss: A lot of the systems that we’re interested in are where you try to put in omega-3 fatty acids – they have a lot of beneficial functions in terms of health. It’s very difficult to include them in a food system and make sure that they’re still active and that the food still tastes good.
Weiss’s lab has developed a way to encase the omega-3 fatty acids in capsules that are about 2,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
Jochen Weiss: If you think about these systems as pills, it would be a very wrong scale of things. We’re trying to put these compounds into very, very tiny systems. They’re so tiny that actually once they’re encapsulated, you wouldn’t even be able to see it.
The nano-sized capsules are tasteless and preserve the active ingredients in the omega-3 fatty acids.
Jochen Weiss: You could put them in a wide variety of foods. You could put them into beverages. The purpose of the encapsulation is to actually make them compatible with a very wide range of food products.
Our thanks to:
University of Hohenheim
In his years with EarthSky, Jorge Salazar conducted thousands of in-depth interviews with scientists. He knows a lot about as diverse as nanotechnology, ecosystem-based management, climate change, global health, international environmental treaties, astrophysics and cosmology, and environmental security. Jorge currently works as a Technical Writer/Editor for the Texas Advanced Computing Center, which designs and deploys powerful advanced computing technologies and innovative software solutions for scientific researchers.