Nanotechnology is an emerging scientific field. It involves the design and application of structures, devices and systems by controlling their shape and size at an extremely small scale - in range of one-to-100 nanometers (for reference, one nanometer is one-billionth of a meter). And this technology holds a lot of promise across industries.
Currently we’re not using nanotechnology. But as a leading food company, we need to understand the potential this technology may hold for us in terms of food safety, product quality, nutrition and sustainability. That is why our research and development teams always keep their eyes on the scientific research, as well as consider potential applications where nanotechnology may be used in packaging material.
In particular, we’re looking at packaging that requires less material, which helps to reduce waste. We would only consider those uses that meet regulatory requirements and are considered safe by the scientific community. We also take into account what our consumers think and feel.
Our highest priority is the safety of our products and our consumers. We thoroughly look at the ingredients and materials we use - no matter the size. We also talk with outside experts on specific questions related to ingredient and product safety. If we ever intend to use nanotechnology, we will make sure that the appropriate environmental, health and safety concerns have been addressed. This includes going through our own stringent quality-control processes, as well as working with our suppliers to make sure the proper assessments have been completed.
If you want to learn more, take a look at the National Nanotechnology Initiative (http://www.nano.gov/) and the Woodrow Wilson Project for Emerging Nanotechnologies (http://www.nanotechproject.org/).