Sunday, August 05, 2012

Food irradiation

After World War II, the US army began experiments irradiating fresh foods for troop in the field. The impetus for the research came largely from intensive investigations of nuclear energy, which led to developments in the economic production of radioactive isotopes and to evolution of high energy accelerators.

All irradiation is energy moving through space in invisible waves. It can either be naturally occurring or produced by man-made objects.

Food irradiation is a physical treatment akin to conventional processes like heating or freezing, in which food is exposed to a defined dose of ionizing radiation. Food irradiation exposes foods to a very high energy, short length invisible waves.

Irradiation of food can control insect infestation, reduce the numbers of pathogenic or spoilage microorganisms and delay or eliminate natural biological processes such as ripening, germination or sprouting in fresh food.

Irradiation can also be used as a phytosanitary treatment where it is applied at low dosage or safeguard natural resource by replacing fumigation or other chemical treatments to eliminate particular plant pests from fruits and vegetables.

There are several forms of radiant energy emitted from different sources. These belong to the electromagnetic spectrum of radiations and differ in wavelength, frequency, penetrating power and the effects they have on biological system.
Food irradiation
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