|Food Irradiation - Introduction
is a physical treatment of food with high-energy, ionising
radiation. It can be used to prolong the shelf life of food
products and/or to reduce health hazards associated with certain
products due to the presence of pathogenic micro-organisms.
The treatment may be applied for different
purposes, such as:
Prevention of germination and sprouting
of potatoes, onions and garlic.
Disinfestation by killing or sterilising
insects which infest grains, dried fruit, vegetables or nuts.
Retardation of ripening and ageing
of fruit and vegetables.
Prolongation of the shelf life and
prevention of food-borne diseases by reducing the number of
viable micro-organisms in meat, poultry and seafood.
Reduction of micro-organisms in spices
In practice, the use of this technique
is rather limited although it is authorised in many countries.