Food Nanotechnology Research Group


The application of nanotechnology to food has considerable potential for both benefit and risk. The research group is interested in the areas of

  • Food safety, quality and integrity
  • Food formulation and structure
  • Toxicology and risk assessment

An example of the work in which the group has extensive expertise is the production and engineering of biomolecular ligands such as antibodies and aptamers. The use of these biomolecules as tools for use in food safety, quality and integrity (fraud) control is an area of active research, especially for the development of biosensors and simple, portable, rapid assays.  Applications include screening for food adulterants, contaminants, pathogens and allergens, as well as confirmation of species identity. These services are also provided commercially to the food industry through the NoWFOOD Centre (

Members of the group can also provide services in areas relating to nanomaterials legislation and its application to food. The assessment of toxic risk from nanomaterials that might be present in food derived from additives or migration from packaging is also an area of active interest, as well as the modelling of fate and behaviour. Members of the group include: 

  • Prof Graham Bonwick (Director)
  • Prof John Banks
  • Dr Catherine Birch
  • Prof Qasim Chaudhry
  • Prof Weili Li



  • Ioana Lock
  • Ash Gornall
  • Simon Haigh


Visiting Professors

  • Prof Kathy Groves (Leatherhead Food Research)
  • Prof Christopher Smith
  • Prof Niall Young (DuPont Nutrition Biosciences A/S)


Recent Publications

Chaudhry, Q. and Castle, L. (2011) Food applications of nanotechnologies - An overview of opportunities and challenges for developing countries, Trends in Food Science and Technology 22 (2011) 595-603.

Chaudhry, Q., Castle, L. and Watkins, R. (Editors) (2010) Nanotechnologies in Food, London, Royal Society of Chemistry Publishers, ISBN 978-0-85404-169-5.

Chaudhry, Q., Scotter, M., Blackburn, J., Ross, B., Boxall, A., Castle, L., Aitken, R. and Watkins, R. (2008) Applications and implications of nanotechnologies for the food sector, Food Additives and Contaminants 25(3): 241-258.

SCCS & Chaudhry Q (2015) Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCSS) - Revision of the opinion on the Safety of the use of titanium dioxide, nano form, in cosmetic products. Regulatory Toxicology & Pharmacology 73, 669-670.

Lane KE, Li W, Smith CJ & Derbyshire E (2015). Product shelf life evaluation of an enriched yoghurt drink containing an omega-3 nanoemulsion with enhanced bioavailability. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 74, E222.

Gornall A, Coleman R, Birch C & Bonwick G (2015). Selection of oligonucleotide aptamers for Listeria monocytogenes: Novel approaches in SELEX and detection methods for improved performance. Proceedings 7th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Food Analysis, November 3-6, 2015, Prague, Czech Republic.

Lock S-I, Coleman R, McDowall I, Birch C & Bonwick G(2015). Development of an aptamer for the detection of Type A tricothecene mycotoxins: Use of capture SELEX. Proceedings 7th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Food Analysis, November 3-6, 2015, Prague, Czech Republic.

Burden N., Aschberger K, Chaudhry Q, Clift MJD, Doak SH, Fowler P, Johnston H, Landsiedel R, Rowland J, and Stone V. (2016) The 3Rs as a framework to support a 21st century approach for nanosafety assessment, NanoToday, available at link