1. Radiation processing of food or food irradiation is a physical process in which food commodities, bulk or pre-packaged are exposed to controlled doses of energy of ionizing radiation such as gamma rays or X-rays to achieve different technological objectives.

2. These technological objectives include extension of shelf-life, destruction of storage and quarantine insect pests, and killing of parasites, pathogens and spoilage microorganisms.

3. It became mandatory in 2007 to treat Indian mangoes with gamma radiation for control of quarantine insect pests before export to the USA.

4. In India more than a dozen irradiation facilities have been established by private entrepreneurs for treatment of food

5. Radiation technology offers several advantages for processing foods which are listed below:
It is a physical, non-additive process, causes minimal change in food. It is highly effective compared to chemicals and fumigants. It does not leave harmful residue in food. It can be applied to bulk as well as pre-packaged food. It is a cold process and preserves food in natural form. It does not destroy heat-labile aroma constituents of food The process is safe for workers and friendly to environment.

6. Foods processed by radiation have been subjected to a thorough assessment of safety in national and international laboratories. These studies show that food irradiation presented no toxicological, nutritional or microbiological problems.

Courtesy FSSAI PRESS RELEASE


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