A European project called "Nanopathology" allowed to develop a new diagnostic tool through which the presence of inorganic particulate matter in pathological human tissues of the digestive tract could be shown. This unexpected evidence induced the authors to put forward the hypothesis that that sort of contamination was present in ingested food. In order to demonstrate this hypothesis, 86 samples of wheat bread and 49 of wheat biscuits from 14 different countries were analyzed by means of an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy to detect inorganic, micro-, and nano-scaled contaminants. The X-ray microprobe of an Energy Dispersion Spectroscope was employed to identify their chemical composition. The results indicate that 40\% of the samples analyzed contained foreign bodies as ceramic and metallic debris of probable environmental or industrial origin. Because of the great variety of chemical composition of the particulate matter, those contaminants were listed according to the most expressed element. The majority of these debris are not biodegradable, some are chemically toxic, and none of them have any nutritive value. The work discusses the possible origin of such a pollution and the role that it can play on human life.
Investigation of the presence of inorganic micro- and nanosized contaminants in bread and biscuits by environmental scanning electron microscopy / Gatti, Antonietta; Tossini, Daniela; Gambarelli, Andrea; Stefano, Montanari; Federico, Capitani. - In: CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION. - ISSN 1040-8398. - STAMPA. - 49:3(2009), pp. 275-282. [10.1080/10408390802064347]