Food Irradiation

What is food irradiation?
  • Food irradiation is a technology in which food products are subjected to a low dosage of radiation to treat them for germs and insects, increasing their longevity and shelf life.
  • It is the application of ionizing radiation to food in which energy is transmitted without direct contact in the targeted food.
  • The radiation can be emitted by a radioactive substance or generated electrically.
  • The irradiated food does not become radioactive.
  • Radioisotopes are used as the source for the gamma rays.
  • Generally cobalt-60 radioisotope is used as a radioactive source for gamma irradiation.
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommends the irradiation doses for Food irradiation.
  • Irradiation is equivalent to pasteurization for solid foods, but it is not the same as sterilization.
  • It does not reduce the nutritional value of food products and does not change their organoleptic properties and appearance.
  • The irradiation treatment of food and food grains preserves them for longer time, prevent the spread of invasive pests, delay/eliminate ripening or sprouting and reduce the risk of food borne illness.

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