One hazardless technic to increase food safety without any chemical compounds is irradiation (ionizing radiation) by β, X, and Ɣ to eliminate fungi, germs, parasites, bacteria and insects. The best well-known technic is gamma irradiation technic.
This technic is called cold pasteurization because it does not change the temperature of irradiated goods but the hazardous bacteria are killed by heat. When food is exposed to radioactive radiation, some atoms are ionized in the radiation path. The ionization of food atoms exposed to radioactive radiation does not make any damage but eliminates the microorganisms and fungal agents, and insects. Ionization by radiation damages the DNA performance of microorganisms and cells internal metabolism, so microorganisms cannot survive anymore.
Benefits of irradiation
- No change in color and smell of the products;
- Prevention of germination and mold;
- Elimination of insects, pests, and microorganisms in the product and increase its durability
- Delay in fruits ripening;
- No increase in temperature and no change in the food structures;
- No produced radioactive material;
- Usable for all fresh, frozen, and dried foods;
- Prevention of foodborne diseases;
- Prevention of corruption and growth;
- Reduction of enzyme activity;
Problems of irradiation
- No effect in the tissues corrupted previously
- Not change food color and taste after irradiation
- Not eliminate toxicities
Irradiation technic is on the agenda of Food Lord Group as a best way to increase food safety by increasing the shelf life and storage life of dried fruit, dried vegetables, and nuts.
- “Food irradiation: What you need to know”. US Food and Drug Administration. January 4, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
- Food irradiation