The development of novel sensors and biosensors with interest for food industry is one of the key fields for the nowadays nanobiotechnology and nanomaterial science. The functionalized nanomaterials are used as catalytic tools, immobilization platforms or as optical or electroactive labels to improve the bio-sensing performance exhibiting higher sensitivity, stability, and selectivity. Nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes, metal nanoparticles, nanowires, nanocomposite and nanostructurated materials are playing an increasing role in the design of sensing and biosensing systems with interest for applications in food analysis. Furthermore, these nanobiosystems are also bringing advantages in terms of the design of novel food detection strategies. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.