Many active organic compounds and organic effect materials are poorly soluble in water, or even insoluble. Aqueous forms of application thus require special formulation techniques to utilize or optimize the physiological (pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, plant protection, nutrition) or technical (varnishes, printing inks, toners) action. The most interesting properties of nanodispersions of active organic compounds and effect materials include the impressive increase in solubility, the improvement in biological resorption, and the modification of optical, electrooptical, and other physical properties which are achievable only with particle sizes in the middle or lower nanometer range (50-500 nm). Hence in addition to economic and ecological constraints there are also technical demands which appear to urgently require the development of new processes for the production of organic nanoparticles as alternatives to the established mechanical milling processes. In this context attention is drawn to the recent increase in research activities which have as their objective the continuous, automatic preparation of nanodispersed systems by precipitation from molecular solution. In this review the current state of knowledge of the fundamentals of particle formation from homogeneous solution and the effect of solvent and polymer additives on the morphology and supramolecular structure of the nanoparticle will be discussed. The practical implementation of this new formulation technology will be explored in detail for the carotenoids, a class of compounds of both physiological and technical interest.