Home > How are nanomaterials labeled in food when used ad food additives?

How are nanomaterials labeled in food when used ad food additives?

In the European Union, nanomaterials, which are purposely used as food additives, have to be labeled with the suffix “nano”. This does not apply to nanomaterials that are not specifically used in food, but which may arise as byproducts during the manufacturing process.

Do nano-enhanced textile have to be officially registered?

No, they do not. All chemicals including those used to enhance textile fibres are subject to the European chemicals legislation (REACH) or even stricter regulations such as the biocides’ regulation and have to be approved in this context. Textiles for normal use in everyday life have neither to be tested nor approved by anyone.



Do nanopesticides need approval before use?

Yes, the EU Biocidal Products Regulation has specific provisions for nanomaterials. These provisions apply for active and non-active substances. If a nanoform of an already approved pesticide shall be used, the nanoproduct needs extra approval by submitting a dossier with all required data.

Where can I find answers to legal questions about the use of nanomaterials?

With nanotechnology being a cross-sectional technology, the nano-specific aspects are being addressed in various European directives and regulations. These include the legal areas of chemicals, food & food contact materials, pesticides and biocides, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, occupational health & safety and environmental protection.

The website of the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) provides information on regulations and preannouncements for workplace safety. The BAuA announcement “Manufactured Nanomaterials” (BekGS 527) from 2013 contains assessment values for the safe use of nanomaterials at the workplace. REACH, the European regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, also includes the nanoform of substances without specifically addressing and assessing the nanoform yet. Since 2013 and 2014 respectively, regulations of cosmetics, biocides and food legislation include labelling requirements for nanosized ingredients. Further information on nano-specific regulations can be accessed via the following links




  • Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) – Current Law




What does it really mean when behind ingredients of cosmetics or foods the imprint “nano” appears?

For a better information of the consumers since Jul 2013 (cosmetics) and Dec 2014 (food) it is regulated by law (EU), that not only “titanium dioxide” is in the list of ingredients, but also the information is added, whether this is nanoscale [titanium dioxide (nano)]!

Also regulated by law is that only safe and approved ingredients may be included in cosmetics and foods, which have been sufficiently tested for possible negative effects. Therefore, this is by no means a threat notice, but only an information about the ingredients!


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