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Presence of amorphous carbon nanoparticles in food caramels

We report the finding of the presence of carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) in different carbohydrate based food caramels, viz. bread, jaggery, sugar caramel, corn flakes and biscuits, where the preparation involves heating of the starting material. The CNPs were amorphous in nature; the particles were spherical having sizes in the range of 4–30 nm, depending upon the source of extraction. The results also indicated that particles formed at higher temperature were smaller than those formed at lower temperature. Excitation tuneable photoluminescence was observed for all the samples with quantum yield (QY) 1.2, 0.55 and 0.63%, for CNPs from bread, jaggery and sugar caramels respectively. The present discovery suggests potential usefulness of CNPs for various biological applications, as the sources of extraction are regular food items, some of which have been consumed by humans for centuries, and thus they can be considered as safe

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