By 2025 scientists have calculated there will be some 8 billion people on the planet, if earth is going to be able to sustain these numbers then we need to help and find new ways of producing more food, with less of an impact on the environment and by using fewer natural and man made resources.

At a recent seminar held to discuss just this problem panelists commented that nanotechnology could be used to help with more efficient packing of food, decreased risk of contamination, more controllable levels of water in food preparation and many more enhancements, not to mention improved flavour, texture and appearance.

I can't help but think about the many science fiction films made over the years that show space travellers swallowing a small pill which constitutes a 4 course meal, along with the flavours, nutritional value and the feeling of a heavy meal in your stomach.

Just how much can we rely on nanotechnology to solve our world food problems?

In reality we cannot see a great deal of evidence of nanotechnology being used positively in food technology. Take the example of nanosalt for example; smaller grains of salt to aid the distribution across a meal thus reducing the overall amount of salt actually needed. This has not been a great success in the market because consumers are hesitant to embrace new technology when it comes to food production.

A great deal more will have to be done to manage the fears of the consumer if nanotechnology is to come to our rescue.