Abstract Nanomaterials are increasingly used in various food applications. In particular, nanoparticulate amorphous SiO(2) is already contained, e.g., in spices. Since intestinal dendritic cells (DC) could be critical targets for ingested particles, we compared the in vitro effects of amorphous silica nanoparticles with fine crystalline silica, and micron-sized with nano-sized TiO(2) particles on DC. TiO(2)- and SiO(2)-nanoparticles, as well as crystalline silica led to an upregulation of MHC-II, CD80, and CD86 on DC. Furthermore, these particles activated the inflammasome, leading to significant IL-1β-secretion in wild-type (WT) but not Caspase-1- or NLRP3-deficient mice. Silica nanoparticles and crystalline silica induced apoptosis, while TiO(2) nanoparticles led to enhanced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Since amorphous silica and TiO(2) nanoparticles had strong effects on the activation-status of DC, we suggest that nanoparticles, used as food additives, should be intensively studied in vitro and in vivo, to ensure their safety for the consumer.