Regulatory Status of Nanotechnologies in Food in the EU

Rasmussen, Kirsten; Rauscher, Hubert; Gottardo, Stefania; Hoekstra, Eddo; Schoonjans, Reinhilde; Peters, Ruud; Aschberger, Karin


This chapter provides a state-of-the-art description, as of November 2017, of legislation covering food-related applications of nanotechnology and nanomaterials in the European Union (EU). These applications include novel foods, food contact materials, feed and food additives, food supplements, and plant protection products. In general, the EU legislation requires a market authorization of nanomaterial applications in foods on the basis of a safety assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) of the potential health risks, which may be associated with nanomaterials in foods. EFSA is an integral part of the EU's food safety system to ensure the safety of foods and to protect the health of consumers, animals, and the environment from food-related risks. Among others, EFSA evaluates and assesses the risk of nanomaterials and develops scientific methodologies and guidance needed for identifying emerging risks to food safety. In addition to EFSA, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission provides technical and scientific support to the policies on nanomaterials in foods.