Food Irradiation Essay

471 Words2 Pages
Food Irradiation Food irradiation is a type of technology for controlling spoilage and eliminating food-borne pathogens, such as salmonella. Irradiation can change the flavor, odor, texture, color, and nutritional content of food. It kills bacteria and other pathogens in foods, which could result in spoilage or food poisoning. When ionizing radiation strikes bacteria and other microbes, its high energy breaks chemical bonds in molecules that are vital for cell growth and integrity. As a result, the microbes die, and can no longer multiply causing illness or spoilage. The type of food and the specific purpose of the irradiation determines the amount of radiation necessary to process a particular product. The speed of the belt helps control the radiation dose delivered to the food by controlling the exposure time. the Cobalt-60 is the most commonly used for food irradiation. However, there are large cesium-137 irradiators. Cobalt-60 emits ionizing radiation in the form of intense gamma rays. Cesium-137 has a less penetrating gamma beam and a longer half-life, which makes it more suitable under certain circumstances. X-ray facilities use an electron beam accelerator to target electrons on a metal plate. some energy is absorbed, and the rest is converted to X-rays. Like gamma rays, X-rays are penetrating, and can be used on food boxes 15 inches thick or more. This allows food to be processed in a shipping container. Safety testing of irradiated foods has taken place since the early 1950's. Irradiated foods have been fed to several species of animals, some up to 40 generations. And have also been evaluated chemically. Irradiation of foods must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Some foods also require the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s approval. USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service must approve the process and the facility for irradiation of

More about Food Irradiation Essay

Open Document