CHAPTER 5: Natural and Processed Food Nanostructures
Published:17 May 2017
In Chinese culture, the lotus flower is recognized as a symbol of a notable man since its leaves rise immaculately clean from the mud. This effect has now been recognized to be the result of the presence of nanostructures and the hydrophobic properties of lotus leaves. This chapter reviews the presence and function of nanostructures found in natural edible materials, including cellulose, starch, and muscle. It is currently difficult to prepare nanofoods via bottom-up methods. A reduction in the size of edible materials to the nanoscale via top-down methods significantly alters their physicochemical properties and results in benefits in the final products—for example, the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose is remarkably increased when the particle size is at nano/submicron scales. Size reduction by physical means may be an attractive method of treating edible materials to minimize waste and to enhance functionality.