Institute of Crystallography - CNR

A path of diversity, from soil to human health

The aim is to support a paradigm shift which recognizes the need to address health issues from a holistic point of view, e.g. considering the nexus between soil health and human health which are linked through food and diet.

Nanotechnology and nanoscience provide the agri-food sector with new nanoformulations, nanodelivery systems as well as nanosensors, potentially enabling improvements in nutritional quality and crop productivity while reducing negative impacts on the environment. It is important however, to study the structure-function relationship and the (eco)toxicity of these novel nanoproducts in order to establish their real innovative potential.

On the other hand, the impact of organic farming practices could support a healthier soil which could be reflected in a better nutritional profile of crops and vegetables and eventually it could lead to a more diversified gut microbiome in consumers. It should hence be possible to follow a path of diversity analyzing the microbiome of soil, food and gut and investigating the impact of organic agriculture on human health. Determination of plant’s miRNA, possibly connected to specific pathologies, could further allow to follow their transfer and their regulatory impact in mammal cells providing insight into one epigenetic regulatory system.

Reference works

– C. Bartolucci, V, Scognamiglio, A. Antonacci, L.F. Fraceto, (2022), What makes nanotechnologies applied to agriculture green? Nano Today 43 (16), 101389

– Bartolucci C., Antonacci A., Arduini F., Moscone D., Fraceto L., Campos E., Attaallah R., Amine A., Zanardi C., Cubillana-Aguilera L.M., Palacios Santander J.M., Scognamiglio V. (2020) Green nanomaterials fostering agrifood sustainability. TrAC. Trends in analytical chemistry, (125), 115840,

– Bartolucci C. (2018), Nanotechnology and Food in “Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Advances and developments in Nano-sized materials”, Editor Van de Voorde, M., De Gruyter

– Bartolucci C. (2017), Nanotechnologies for Agriculture and Foods: Past and Future. Introduction in “Nanotechnology in Agriculture and Food Science”, Editors Axelos, M. A.V., Van de Voorde, M., Wiley