Published in Wine
The potential use of biocompatible silver nanoparticles in winemaking

There is currently an increasing commercial demand for silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) due to their wide applicability in various markets. Because of their powerful antimicrobial properties, these nanoparticles are frequently used for food-associated consumer products.

Spanish Researchers evaluated the effect of two Ag NPs coated with biocompatible materials - PEG-Ag NPs 20 (polyethylene glycol) and GSH-Ag NPs (reduced glutathione) - to control microbial growth in wines and the results were published in Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies. 51, 64-72, 2019. 

Both Ag NPs were subjected to an in vitro three-step digestion, and changes in their morphology and an assessment of their cytotoxicity against Caco-2 cells were determined. Both Ag NPs were effective against the different microbial population present in tested wines. Regarding their in vitro digestion, the size and shape of the nanoparticles were almost unaltered in the case of GSH-Ag NPs, while in PEG-Ag NPs 20 some particle agglomeration was observed. Overall, these results suggest that Ag NPs may reach the intestine in a nano-scaled form. Finally, Caco-2 cell experiments seemed to exclude toxicity of Ag NPs at the intestinal epithelium. Industrial relevance Traditionally, sulphur dioxide (SO2) has been used by oenologists to control the microbial population in wine. As a result of increasing evidence of possible health risks associated with this additive in wine, there has been growing interest in finding new alternatives to replace it. Silver nanoparticles display a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity, so they could constitute a very promising approach to reducing SO2 in winemaking.

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