New Horizons of Nanotechnology in Agriculture and Food Processing Industry

New Horizons of Nanotechnology in Agriculture and Food Processing Industry

Shabir Ahmad Mir (Pondicherry University, India), Manzoor Ahmad Shah (Pondicherry University, India), Mohammad Maqbool Mir (Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, India) and Umar Iqbal (Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0610-2.ch009
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Abstract

This chapter addresses the potential application of nanotechnology in various areas of agriculture and food processing sector. Nanotechnology is an exciting and fast developing field which aims to generate new materials and devices with wide range of applications. Nanotechnology is capable to solve the very complex set of engineering and scientific challenges in the agriculture and processing industry. Nanotechnology has great potential in providing novel and improved solutions to many challenges facing agriculture and food sector. Nanotechnology based products and its applications in agriculture include nano-fertilizers, nano-herbicides, nano-pesticides, recalcitrant contaminants from water, nano-scale carriers, nan-osensors, veterinary care, fisheries and food processing etc. Nanotechnology revolutionized the agriculture and food industry by innovation new techniques such as: precision farming techniques, more efficient and targeted use of inputs, disease detection and control, withstand environmental pressures and effective systems for processing and packaging.
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Background

Nanotechnology in Agriculture

Nanotechnology has the prospective to modernize the agricultural research and development with new tools for the molecular treatment of diseases with rapid detection and to enhancing the ability of plants to absorb nutrients etc. Smart sensors and smart delivery systems will help the agricultural industry, combat viruses and other crop pathogens. Nanotechnology also protects the environment indirectly through the use of alternative (renewable) energy supplies and filters or catalysts to reduce pollution and clean-up existing pollutants.

In the agricultural sector, nanotech research and development is likely to facilitate and frame the next stage of development of genetically modified crops, animal production inputs, chemical pesticides and precision farming techniques. While nano-chemical pesticides are already in use, other applications are still in their early stages and it may be many years before they are commercialized. These applications are largely intended to address some of the limitations and challenges facing large scale chemical and capital intensive farming systems.

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