The Department of Food Science and Nutrition presents its fall 2023 seminar series featuring guest speaker Laxmi Adhikari, ORISE postdoctoral fellow at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who will give a presentation on “Analyzing Transferred Nanomaterials in Foods and Beverages Under Simulated Storage Conditions.” This seminar is open to the public and will take place on Zoom from 12:45–1:45 p.m. on Thursday, October 12.
Although not currently authorized for use in the U.S., polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) are currently being investigated as the next generation of food packaging materials due to their enhanced thermal, barrier, mechanical, and antimicrobial properties. These advanced materials are generated by incorporating low concentrations of nanoscale filler materials (including metals, graphene, ceramics, cellulose, etc.) into polymer matrices. Nanofillers, with their reinforcement mechanism, strengthen the properties of the composites. To mitigate potential risks to end consumers, there is a need for a better understanding of the potential migration of engineered nanomaterials (ENs) from these packaging materials and their reconstitution in food and beverages under their intended conditions of use. This talk will highlight FDA’s most recent endeavors in understanding the potential human exposure to engineered nanomaterials originating from model nanotechnology-enabled-packaging materials. The impacts of these research findings will be discussed within the broader scope of the FDA’s mission to safeguard public health.
Laxmi Adhikari is currently an ORISE postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2022 under the guidance of Professor Gary A. Baker. Prior to that, Adhikari completed both her B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. Her research primarily focuses on the fabrication and characterization of polymer nanocomposites (PNCs), chemical analysis of foods and beverages for transferred nanomaterials during simulated storage conditions, and their reconstitution in relevant environments. Additionally, she is dedicated to the development of nanosensor systems based on Raman and luminescent nanoprobes, aimed at detecting foodborne viruses in foods and on food surfaces.