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K.S. Subramanian, K. Gunasekaran, N. Natarajan, C.R. Chinnamuthu, A. Lakshmanan, S.K. Rajkishore
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The word “nano agriculture” refers to the infusion of nanotechnology concepts and principles in agricultural sciences so as to develop processes and products that precisely deliver inputs and promote productivity without associated environmental harm. Nano Agriculture is quite appropriate in India in the context of changing scenarios in agricultural production systems which in the verge of transformation towards precision agriculture.

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Preface   Indian Agriculture is facing a wide spectrum of constraints such as burgeoning population, shrinking farm land, restricted water availability, imbalanced fertilization, low soil organic carbon, besides experiencing the fatigue of green revolution and vagaries of climate change. To address all the challenges ahead, we should think of an alternate technology such as “nanotechnology” to precisely detect and deliver the correct quantity of nutrients or other inputs required by crops that promote productivity while ensuring environmental safety. The word “nano” refers to the size of one-billionth of a metre or one-millionth of a millimeter in any one of the dimension. We are aware that all materials are made up of atoms which are the smallest units and for example, ten hydrogen atoms put together will measure one nanometer. As the size gets reduced, the surface area gets increased by several folds. For instance, a 5 cm3 has a surface area of 120 cm2 when the material is at its regular scale, if the same cube is divided 24 times to reach “nano” dimension, the fractionated cube can be spread over a surface area equivalent to a football stadium. Such a phenomenal increase in surface to mass ratio makes nanotechnology very unique and powerful. Nanotechnology is a fascinating field of science which manipulates atom by atom and thus processes and products evolved from nano science are the most précised ones that are impossible to achieve by the conventional systems. Despite the fact that nanotechnology is being exploited in electronics, energy and health sectors, and the field of agricultural science is just beginning to scratch the surface. Nanotechnology is visualized as a rapidly evolving field that has potential to revolutionize agriculture and food systems and improve the conditions of the poor. The word “nano agriculture” refers to the infusion of nanotechnology concepts and principles in agricultural sciences so as to develop processes and products that precisely deliver inputs and promote productivity without associated environmental harm. Nano Agriculture is quite appropriate in India in the context of changing scenarios in agricultural production systems which in the verge of transformation towards precision agriculture. We take the opportunity of thanking the contributing authors for their commitment and patience, and the sense of friendship with which they worked with us on this assignment. We also thanks the publishers for their understanding and efficiency of handling this project. Despite all our efforts to make this book error-free, there is every possibility of printing mistake due to oversight. We look forward to overcoming all the shortfalls, if any, in the book. Therefore, we request and expect from all our valuable readers to inform us/bring the shortfalls to our notice, which will help us to make the next edition of this book better and error-free. We also expect valuable suggestions to make the next edition of this book far better.

1 Nanotechnology for Precision Agriculture
K.S. Subramanian

Indian Agriculture is facing a wide spectrum of constraints such as burgeoning population, shrinking farm land, restricted water availability, imbalanced fertilization, low soil organic carbon, besides experiencing the fatigue of green revolution and vagaries of climate change. To address all the challenges ahead, we should think of an alternate technology such as “nanotechnology” to precisely detect and deliver the correct quantity of nutrients or other inputs required by crops that promote productivity while ensuring environmental safety. The word “nano” refers to the size of one-billionth of a metre or one-millionth of a millimeter in any one of the dimension. We are aware that all materials are made up of atoms which are the smallest units and for example, ten hydrogen atoms put together will measure one nanometer. As the size gets reduced, the surface area gets increased by several folds.

1 - 18 (18 Pages)
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2 Nanotechnology Interventions in Agriculture
W. Selvamurthy, K. Muraleedharan, D.B.S. Sethi and Rajeev Varshney

Introduction Nature has been performing wonderful feats for millions of years. All organisms from microbes to humans are powered by highly evolved molecular and cellular machines that operate at nano scale. The capability to manipulate, control, assemble, functionalise, produce and manufacture things at atomic precision provides an opportunity to understand this new and exciting field of science. Nanotechnology is application of science to control the properties and structure of matter at nanometric scale.

19 - 28 (10 Pages)
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3 Physical and Mechanical Methods of Synthesis of Nano-materials
D. Nataraj

Introduction to Nano-materials Nano-sized materials are naturally present from forest fires and volcanoes, but are also generated unintentionally from anthropogenic sources as a by-product of combustion and deliberately as manufactured nanomaterials. Nanoparticles have been used for centuries. The coloured glass that we see in many old cathedrals from the middle age was made of gold nanosized clusters that created different colour depending on the size of the nanoparticles. The most prominent example of engineered nanoparticulate material is carbon black which has been around us for decades in applications like printing inks, toners, coatings, plastics, paper, tires and building products.   Two of the major factors why nanoparticles have different properties (optical, electrical, magnetic, chemical and mechanical) than bulk material are because in this size-range, the quantum effects start to predominate and the surface area to volume ratio is increased.

29 - 40 (12 Pages)
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4 Chemical Method of Synthesis of Nano-materials
K. Pandian

Introduction The metal particles in nanometer scale shows exciting optical and electronic characteristics when compared with respective bulk metals. Because of the inherent electronic properties of the metal and metal oxide nanoparticles these nanostructure materials are applied in various disciplines in recent days. Mostly these nanoparticles can be synthesized either top down or bottom up approaches. The conversion of bigger size particle or matter into tiny particles is called top down approach where as smaller particles or atoms joined together forming particles in regular shape within nanometer scale dimension is called bottom up approach. The formation of nanoparticles by chemical reduction is an example for the later one and the reduction size with the help of mechanical crusing leads to the formation of fine nanoparticles is named as top down approach. Mostly nanoparticles can be synthesized by chemical method because of its easiness to synthesis particles with uniform size and high purity.

41 - 56 (16 Pages)
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5 Biological Synthesis of Nano-materials

The history of nanotechnology in the modern world dates back to 1959 when American physicist Richard Feynman inspired the scientific community in his lecture “There is a plenty of rooms at the bottom”. Research on nanosized particles dramatically developed into an important field of modern research with potential effects in electronics to medicine and recently in agriculture and food industry. Nanoparticles exhibit unique properties in terms of chemical, physical, photoelectrochemical and electronic properties when compared to their respective bulk materials. The applications of these nanosized particles are defined in a bigger ways in the field of Biotechnology. All these applications require custom based synthesis methods for specific applications.

57 - 60 (4 Pages)
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6 Properties of Nano-materials – I
B. Nalini

Nano-material possess unique properties such as dimension, shape, specific surface area, surface mass ratio etc., that are highly influenced by the mechanical and physical properties. It is pertinent to understand the basic physical properties of nano-materials in order to apply them in a wide array of functions. In this context, this chapter is devoted to provide basic information on physical, mechanical and photo-luminescence properties of nano-materials.

61 - 74 (14 Pages)
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7 Properties of Nano-materials – II
R.T. Rajendra Kumar

Nano-materials are to be extensively studied and characterized prior to their application in material science, biological science, electrical and electronics. In addition to the basic physical properties of the nano-materials, other characteristics such as paramagnetism, ferromagnetism, supermagnetism, optical properties, quantum size effects and electrical properties have to be studied. With a view to provide the fundamental information on these aspects this chapter is dedicated.

75 - 90 (16 Pages)
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8 Characterization of Nano-materials using PSA and Raman Spectroscopy
K. Gunasekaran and S. Thirunavukkarasu

Raman Spectroscopy It is a spectroscopic technique based on inelastic scattering of monochromatic light, usually from a laser source. Inelastic scattering means that the frequency of photons in monochromatic light changes upon interaction with a sample. Photons of the laser light are absorbed by the sample and then reemitted. Frequency of the reemitted photons is shifted up or down in comparison with original monochromatic frequency, which is called the Raman effect. This shift provides information about vibrational, rotational and other low frequency transitions in molecules. Raman spectroscopy can be used to study solid, liquid and gaseous samples.

91 - 94 (4 Pages)
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9 X-ray Diffraction Spectroscopy
K. Srinivasan

Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, German physicist, born on November 8, 1895 discovered X-rays and was awarded the first ever Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him. These short-wave electromagnetic radiations have the wavelengths that are matching with both the atomic sizes and shortest interatomic distances. But, the index of refraction of X-rays is near unity for all materials and hence they could not be focused by a lens in order to observe small objects such as atoms, as it is done by glass lenses in a visible light microscope or by magnetic lenses in an electron microscope. Thus, in general, X-rays cannot be used to image individual atoms directly. As an alternative to this difficulty, Max von Laue in 1912 proved that the periodicity of the crystal lattice allows atoms in a crystal to be observed with exceptionally high resolution and precision by means of X-ray diffraction for the first time by using a single crystal of hydrated copper sulfate (CuSO4 5H2O).

95 - 102 (8 Pages)
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10 Basics of Electron Microscopy
M.L. Sharma

Electron microscopy is a specialized branch of science, which uses the electron microscope as a tool. The electron microscope is an instrument which magnify smallest object thousands times. The magnification is not only requirement to see the smallest otherwise invisible object but the details of the object are most important. The details of the object are depending upon the resolving power of the microscope, which is known as the resolution of the microscope. This resolution or power of the microscope is depends upon the wavelength of the illuminating source. The smallest the wavelength of the illuminating sources is the best resolution of the microscope. Electron microscopes use electrons as an illumination source to take advantage of the very short wavelengths attainable in electron beam, which permit a considerable improvement in resolution over the light microscope.

103 - 144 (42 Pages)
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11 Scanning Electron Microscope
N. Natarajan, C. Sharmila Rahale, R. Sunitha

Electron Microscopes are scientific instruments that use a beam of highly energetic electrons to examine objects on a very fine scale. This examination can yield information about the topography (surface features of an object), morphology (shape and size of the particles making up the object), composition (the elements and compounds that the object is composed of and the relative amounts of them) and crystallographic information (how the atoms are arranged in the object). Electron Microscopes were developed due to the limitations of Light Microscopes which are limited by the physics of light to 500x or 1000x magnification and a resolution of 0.2 micrometers. In the early 1930’s this theoretical limit had been reached and there was a scientific desire to see the fine details of the interior structures of organic cells (nucleus, mitochondria...etc.). This required 10,000x plus magnification which was just not possible using Light Microscopes.

145 - 152 (8 Pages)
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12 Transmission Electron Microscope
C.R. Chinnamuthu and K. Brindha

Transmission electron microscope (TEM) The transmission electron microscope (TEM) operates on the same basic principles as the light microscope but uses electrons instead of light. What you can see with a light microscope is limited by the wavelength of light. TEMs use electrons as “light source” and their much lower wavelength makes it possible to get a resolution a thousand times better than with a light microscope. We can see objects to the order of a few angstrom (10-10 m). For example, we can study small details in the cell or different materials down to near atomic levels. The possibility for high magnifications has made the TEM a valuable tool in both medical, biological and materials research.

153 - 166 (14 Pages)
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13 Atomic Force Microscopy
M. Kannan, S. Marimuthu, P. Meenakshisundaram

Introduction Biological systems are complex and are full of mysteries. Understanding function in relation to structure is crucial in many biological systems. A microscope is used to magnify, resolve and visualize a substance that is impossible to see by naked eyes and plays a vital role in various biological studies. We can visualize macroscopic organisms like animals, plants, and insects by the unaided eye but not bacteria, viruses or individual proteins. Biological structures have sizes variable over such a wide range that is not possible for a single microscopic technique to analyze all of them. Therefore, different types of microscopes with varying magnification and resolving abilities were developed to unveil the structural complexities of biomolecules (Fig. 1). Over the last 100 years, several types of microscopes have been designed and used in various fields. The microscopes work on different principles, and have a broad range of applications.

167 - 176 (10 Pages)
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14 Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS)
N.B. Nandakumar, S.K. Rajkishore and R. Sunitha

Introduction Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is equipment that combines the features of gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample. Applications of GC-MS include drug detection, environmental analysis include pesticides residue in soil, water and plant crop produce, greenhouse gas quantification, food toxicants, assessment of antibiotic compounds, estimation of volatile organic compounds from biological systems besides identification of unknown compounds.

177 - 190 (14 Pages)
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15 Nanotechnological Approaches in Seed Science
N. Natarajan, S. Kalaivani and S. Senthil Kumar

Introduction Seed is the key input in agriculture deciding the fate of productivity of any crops. Indeed, seed is referred as a nature’s “nano-gift” for agriculture. Seed is a smart delivery system where we shall make manipulation to achieve the desirable goals. The seed technologists in the country were trying to find a second or third generation technologies to address the issues of seed science. Nanotechnology is one of the cutting edge research areas that has enormous potentials to solve the unresolved field problems. The application of nanotechnology to the agricultural and food industries was first addressed by a United States Department of Agriculture roadmap published in September 2000. Nanotechnology in the agricultural front has been more useful in improving the existing crop management techniques. Most of the applications of nanotechnology spearhead around nano encapsulated agrochemicals, herbicides, nano coated gene delivery and nano fertilizers (Nair et al., 2010).

191 - 202 (12 Pages)
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16 Nano-Fertilizer for Balanced Crop Nutrition
K.S. Subramanian and C. Sharmila Rahale

Introduction Fertilizers play an important role in improving soil fertility and productivity of crops regardless of nature of cropping sequence or environmental conditions. It has been unequivocally demonstrated that one third of crop productivity is dictated by fertilizers besides influencing use efficiencies of other agri-inputs. In the past four decades, nutrient use efficiency (NUE) of crops had hardly exceeded 35-50%, 18-20% and 30-35 % for N, P and K, respectively, despite our relentless efforts. The remaining nutrients stay in soil or enter into the aquatic environment causing eutrophication. In addition to the low nutrient efficiencies, Indian agriculture facing a problem of low organic matter, imbalanced fertilization and low fertilizer response that eventually caused crop yield stagnation (Biswas and sharma, 2008).

203 - 216 (14 Pages)
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17 Nano Herbicides for Rainfed Agriculture
C.R. Chinnamuthu, N. Sunil Kumar and K. Brindha

Introduction Weeds are unwanted plants in agricultural production causing huge losses in crop production system particularly rainfed agriculture. Of the total estimated losses caused in crop production by pests, diseases and weeds in the world, the weeds alone are responsible for one-third of it. Weeds interfere with crop growth and cause an yield loss to the tune of 10% of crop production which amounts to a total loss of about 20 million MT of food grains, valued at over Rs.10,000 crores, at current prices in India. Besides, losses of similar magnitude are experienced in vegetable, fruit and plantation crops. The losses inflicted on biodiversity, environment and health are considerable and have not been quantified scientifically.

217 - 224 (8 Pages)
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18 Nano-based Smart Delivery Systems in Agriculture
K.S. Subramanian, S. Manikandan and M. Praghadeesh

Nanotechnology is an emerging of field of science which is being highly exploited in the sphere of medicine where “nano” plays a vital role in delivery of drugs or chemical molecules to the point it is required in précised quantities in right proportions. Nanoscience infuses intelligence to the truck load of chemical constituents that are to be delivered at appropriate locations and cleave from the site after the task is complete. Such process will likely to reduce the cost besides ensuring environmental safety. Nanoscale devices with its unique properties make the agricultural system more smart and effective; such devices are capable of responding to different situations by themselves, thus taking appropriate remedial action with the need of external directions from humans. In short, these devices act as a detectors and if need arises serve as a solution/remedy for the particular issue. These smart delivery systems of chemicals in controlled and targeted manner can be considered synonymous to the proposed nano-drug delivery system in human (Patolsky et al., 2006).

225 - 236 (12 Pages)
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19 Nano-fibre as a Smart Delivery System to Contain Seed Borne Pests and Diseases
K. Ramaesh

Nanofibres are an exciting new class of material used for several value added applications in the field of such as medical, filtration as barrier in composites, garments, wipes, insulation, and energy storage. Special properties of nanofibres make them suitable for a wide range of applications from medicine to consumer products and industrial to high-tech applications. The US - National Science Foundation (NSF) defines nanofibres as having at least one dimension of 100 nm or less (Hegde, 2005). Amongst the various nanostructures that have recently been developed for use in practical applications, nanofibres produced from synthetic and natural polymershave received increased attention due to their ease of fabrication and the ability to control their compositional, structural and functional properties (Burgeretal.,2006).

237 - 244 (8 Pages)
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20 Nano-Pheromones – Frontier Areas in Nanotechnology
K. Subaharan

Nanotechnology offers unique opportunities for the development of novel materials and applications. It is set to offer a platform to revolutionize agriculture sector from production, protection, processing and storage (Kuzma and Verhage, 2006). Bulk of nanomaterials produced is used in other sectors; only ten per cent is of use in food, beverages and packaging sector. Studies have projected the opportunities that nanotechnologies might bring to developing countries in the fields of water, energy, food and agriculture and health (Salamanca- Buentello et al., 2005) The key contributions due to application of nanotechnology in agriculture are delivery systems that aid in slow release and efficient delivery of agroinputs.

245 - 250 (6 Pages)
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21 Parapheromone for Fruitfly Management
S. Sithanantham

Background The demand for development of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies is increasing, since many problems have appeared with the use of synthetic pesticides and semiochemicals – informative molecules used in insect-insect or plant-insect interaction – are being considered as an alternative or complementary approach within IPM strategies. (Heuskin et al., 2011). Indeed, such communication molecules like para-pheromones do not present any related adverse effects on beneficial organisms in the ecosystem. For fruitflies management, several eco-friendly control options  have been developed and recommended across the globe which  include trapping, safe disposal of infested fruits, repulsion with botanical products and physical covering of the developing fruits, besides area-based control through mass trapping and sterile-insect technique. Nevertheless, the use of para-pheromones-based lures in trap systems appears to have greater potential to be among the more widely adopted practices (Verghese, 2009).

251 - 266 (16 Pages)
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22 Nanotechnological Concepts in Plant Disease Management
V. Jayakumar and K.S. Subramanian

In recent years application of nanotechnology in various fields including agriculture has received increased attention. Nanotechnology offers an important role in improving the existing crop management techniques especially in plant disease management by controlled and targeted release of agrochemicals to enhance their efficiency. The nano-based delivery systems are beneficial because of improvement in efficacy due to their higher surface area, higher solubility, induction of systemic activity, higher mobility and lower toxicity (Sasson et al., 2007). The pharmacokinetic parameters of nano particles may be altered according to size, shape and surface functionalization. They can also be used to alter the kinetic profiles of drug release leading to more sustained release of drug there by reducing the frequent application (Sharon et al., 2010). The successful use of metal nanoparticles in medical streams as antimicrobial agents has also led to their applications in controlling phyto pathogens (Nair et al., 2010).

267 - 272 (6 Pages)
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23 Nano-biotechnology for Plant Disease Management
R. Selvakumar

Introduction Since past decades, the application of nanotechnology in the areas of medicine, materials science and electronics have been widely accepted and appreciated due to its potential and benefits.  However, only during the recent years, researchers from other disciplines have started to see the potential applications of nanoscience in the field of agriculture (Robinson and Morrison, 2009). Recently, a generalized and process based framework to enable identification and characterization of the outputs (publications, patents etc.), and map them to the different agricultural research theme areas through the filter of links in the agri-value chain were developed by Kalpana Shastri et al., (2010) from National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), Hyderabad, India. The frame work also permits assessing the implications for technology transfer, and impacts on society and environment. This frame work mainly relies on the identification of nano research and relating them agri-food thematic areas (Fig.1).

273 - 280 (8 Pages)
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24 Biosensors in Agriculture
K. Ilamurugu

Introduction Biosensor technology is a powerful alternative to conventional analytical techniques, harnessing the specificity and sensitivity of biological systems in small, low cost devices. Despite the promising biosensors developed in research laboratories, there are not many reports of applications in agricultural monitoring. The authors review biosensor technology and discuss the different bio-receptor systems and methods of transduction. The difference between a biosensor and a truly integrated biosensor system are defined and the main reasons for the slow technology transfer of biosensors to the market place are reported. Biosensor research and development has been directed mainly towards health care, environmental applications and the food industry. The most commercially important application is the hand-held glucose meter used by diabetics. The agricultural / veterinary testing market has seen a number of diagnostic tests but no true biosensor systems have made an impact.

281 - 306 (26 Pages)
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25 Development of Diagnostics Kits for Plant Diseases
R. Manimekalai

Introduction Crops diseases are caused by bacteria, virus, fungi and phytoplasmas. The detection of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in plants, planting material, vectors or natural reservoirs is essential to ensure safe and sustainable agriculture. The molecular based techniques, have evolved significantly during recent past that  allows the rapid and reliable detection of pathogens. The detection and diagnosis of plant pathogens is essential to take control measures and subsequently for eradication of the disease that causes.  Molecular detection is largely based on PCR or RT-PCR amplification following purification of nucleic acids from the samples, with the extraction of the target DNA.

307 - 312 (6 Pages)
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26 Nanotechnology for Early Detection of Plant Pathogens
R. Selvarajan

Introduction Plant diseases are one of the causes of concern in agriculture and horticulture industry. Estimated global crop loss due to plant diseases exceeds hundred billion US$ worldwide (Orke et al. 1994; Narayanasamy, 2010). Plant diseases are caused by microorganism such as fungi, bacteria, viral, viroids and phytoplasma. Most of the plant pathogens are transmitted through seed or planting material, which can spread secondarily through vectors and lead to severe loss to the crop. Among plant diseases, viral diseases cause serious crop losses and affect the quality of products, while the use of virus- free seeds and planting stocks results in a substantial increase in agricultural crop production (Waterworth & Hadidi, 1998; Strange& Scott, 2005).

313 - 322 (10 Pages)
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27 Detection of Aflatoxins in Crop Produce using Nanotechnology
R. Velazhahan

Introduction Spoilage in agricultural products due to mould growth can occur at various stages of production and storage and is significant in terms of trade economics, food safety and public health (Shephard, 2008). It has been reported that 5–10 % of agricultural products in the world are spoiled by mould contamination to the extent that they cannot be consumed by humans or animals. Mould growth decreases the quality of food and also creates a potential risk for human health because of the production of toxic secondary metabolites known as “mycotoxins”. Foods contaminated by mycotoxins, when consumed by humans and animals causes a disease called “mycotoxicosis”, resulting in death (Wagacha and Muthomi, 2008).

323 - 334 (12 Pages)
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28 Nano Based Electrochemical Sensors for Detection of Pesticide Residues
S. Manisankar

Introduction Fungicides are biocidal chemical compounds or biological organisms used to kill or inhibit fungi or fungal spores. An insecticide is a pesticide used against insects. Pyrethroids are widely used insecticides in agriculture as they control pests and diseases effectively in plants. Because of their low biodegradability and high persistence, they are extensively found in environmental samples such as air, water, soil, sediments, food and biological tissues [1-4]. Moreover, these chemicals induce cancer and act as endocrine disrupters in several organisms due to their high degree of toxicity. Although the use of most pyrethroids has been prohibited or limited in developed countries, they are used in many developing and under developed countries for controlling of pests and insecticides [5-8].

335 - 348 (14 Pages)
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29 Encapsulation of Functional Foods
K. Thangavel

Introduction Fruits are important sources of vitamins, carbohydrates, fiber and sugar. A large variety of fruits are grown in India, of which mango, banana, citrus, guava, grape, pineapple and apple are the major ones. In India, grapes occupies fifth position amongst fruit crops with a production of 16.77 million tonnes from an area of 0.64 million ha (FAO, 2009). The total grape export from India during the year 2007-08 was 96,723 tonnes worth Rs 317.84 crores. (APEDA, 2009). Grape is an excellent source of many nutrients and phytochemicals, able to contribute to a healthy diet. Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C and pectin fiber. The major varieties of grapes grown in India are Thomson seedless, Sonaka, Anab-e-Shahi, Perlette, Banglore blue, Pusa seedless, Beauty seedless etc. (NRCG, 2009). Red grapes are grown in large quantities, especially for wine and juice production. Grapes are used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, grape seed oil and some kinds of candy.

349 - 370 (22 Pages)
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30 Nano Food Packaging to Enhance Shelf Life of Crop Produce
M.R. Manikantan and N. Varadharaju

Introduction Food packaging is a critical technology addressing the ever-increasing demands for convenience, freshness, ease, shelf-life, safety and security of food products.   The main purpose of food packaging is to protect the food from microbial and chemical contamination, oxygen, water vapor and light. The type of packaging used therefore has an important role in determining the shelf-life of the food. Nanotechnology can be intervened to achieve the purpose of food packaging and it will become one of the most powerful forces for innovation in the food packaging industry.

371 - 384 (14 Pages)
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31 Nano Remediation of Soil and Aquatic Pollutants
C. Udayasoorian, K. Vinoth Kumar and R.M. Jayabalakrishnan

Introduction   Maintaining and restoring the quality of air, water and soil is one of the great challenges of our time. Most countries face serious environmental problems, such as the availability of drinking water, the treatment of waste and wastewater, air pollution and the contamination of soil and groundwater. There are two main approaches to these problems: the first is to control pollution at source to minimize or eliminate waste production or harmful emissions; the second is to remedy the pollutants that accumulate in the environment. Considering the enormous scale of soil and groundwater contamination, the complexity of the task seems intractable. In many cases, conventional remediation and treatment technologies have shown only limited effectiveness in reducing the levels of pollutants, especially in soil and water (Rickerby and Morrison, 2007).

385 - 396 (12 Pages)
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32 Biosafety of Nanoparticles
S.K. Rajkishore, K.S. Subramanian, R. Sunitha and K. Gunasekaran

Introduction   Nanotoxicity is a serious concern to be addressed sooner than later as nano-based processes and products in various fields are being extensively exploited. Nanotoxicology is the science of engineered nanodevices and nanostructures that deals with their effects in living organisms (Oberdorster et al., 2005). The unique property of nanoparticles is in its very large surface area to mass ratio, which is considered to be a boon to create novel products. But this distinctive property also challenges the way we identify, understand and address potential risks caused by nanoparticles (Rajkishore et al., 2011). It is sufficient to alert us to the fact that some engineered nanoparticles do indeed behave differently to their more conventional counterparts and may present new and unusual risks. Kahru and Dubourguier (2010) assessed the existing literature on nanotoxicity to main food chain levels (bacteria, algae, crustaceans, ciliates, fish, yeasts and nematodes) and classified the NPs of Ag and ZnO as “extremely toxic”, C60 fullerenes and CuO NP as “very toxic”, SWCNTs and MWCNTs as “toxic” and TiO2 NP as “harmful”. 

397 - 406 (10 Pages)
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33 Assays for Nano-toxicity Assessment
Venkita Subbulakshmi

Introduction The characterization of the potential health impact of engineered materials produced through nanotechnology is an emerging issue of considerable discussion and debate. The current focus on nanotoxicity fails to assess the risk in different local environments and populations. People in developing countries may be more prone to adverse effects of nanoparticles because of underlying health conditions and malnutrition. Moreover, genetic susceptibility to toxic effects varies in diverse ethnic groups and geographical areas. The scientific community needs to identify these information gaps before developing regulations and standard methodologies for nanotoxicity assessment.

407 - 416 (10 Pages)
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34 Regulatory Framework for Nanomaterials
A. Lakshmanan, K.S. Subramanian and K.Gunasekaran

Introduction Engineered nanoparticles are a group of products that are defined by their size, ranging from 1 to 100 nm. Due to the smaller size, the physio-chemical properties of nano particles become very different from those of the same material in a larger form. Total production of nano-materials is expected to increase considerably in the near future. Nanotoxicology is yet another emerging field of science dealing with the effects of nano-devices and engineered nano-particles on living organisms. It has been observed that the materials in nano-dimensions react totally different in comparison to their existence in micro or macro sizes.

417 - 426 (10 Pages)
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