Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize the global food and agricultural system. Nanoscale control of food molecules could allow the modification of many macroscale characteristics of foods, such as texture, sensory attributes, processability, and shelf life. The tools of nanotechnology have already allowed scientists to better understand the way in which food components are structured and how they interact with each other. This understanding is expected to enable a more precise manipulation of food molecules for the design of healthier, tastier, and safer foods. Some of the benefits of nanotechnology will be conveyed to the food system directly through agriculture and agricultural research. Newly created tools in molecular and cellular biology will enable significant advances in reproductive science and technology, disease prevention, and treatment of plants and animals and potentially boost the production of raw food materials. The development of biosensors for pathogen and contaminant detection in agricultural products will help ensure the safety of the food supply. Conversion of renewable agricultural materials or food waste into energy and useful by-products is an environmentally oriented area of research that could be greatly enhanced by nanotechnology.

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