Nanobiotechnological advancements in agriculture and food industry: Applications, nanotoxicity, and future perspectives.

Citation:
Ali, S. S., R. Al-Tohamy, E. Koutra, M. S. Moawad, M. Kornaros, A. M. Mustafa, Y. A. - G. Mahmoud, A. Badr, M. E. H. Osman, T. Elsamahy, et al., "Nanobiotechnological advancements in agriculture and food industry: Applications, nanotoxicity, and future perspectives.", The Science of the total environment, vol. 792, pp. 148359, 2021.

Abstract:

The high demand for sufficient and safe food, and continuous damage of environment by conventional agriculture are major challenges facing the globe. The necessity of smart alternatives and more sustainable practices in food production is crucial to confront the steady increase in human population and careless depletion of global resources. Nanotechnology implementation in agriculture offers smart delivery systems of nutrients, pesticides, and genetic materials for enhanced soil fertility and protection, along with improved traits for better stress tolerance. Additionally, nano-based sensors are the ideal approach towards precision farming for monitoring all factors that impact on agricultural productivity. Furthermore, nanotechnology can play a significant role in post-harvest food processing and packaging to reduce food contamination and wastage. In this review, nanotechnology applications in the agriculture and food sector are reviewed. Implementations of nanotechnology in agriculture have included nano- remediation of wastewater for land irrigation, nanofertilizers, nanopesticides, and nanosensors, while the beneficial effects of nanomaterials (NMs) in promoting genetic traits, germination, and stress tolerance of plants are discussed. Furthermore, the article highlights the efficiency of nanoparticles (NPs) and nanozymes in food processing and packaging. To this end, the potential risks and impacts of NMs on soil, plants, and human tissues and organs are emphasized in order to unravel the complex bio-nano interactions. Finally, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of nanotechnology are evaluated and discussed to provide a broad and clear view of the nanotechnology potentials, as well as future directions for nano-based agri-food applications towards sustainability.

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