What is Gamma Irradiation and Irradiated Foods?
Gamma irradiation does not make any kind of foods radioactive or dangerous. It doesn’t compromise our nutritional quality nor change the taste of the food. It doesn’t alter the texture or appearance of a product. Internationally reputable organizations on health supported by scientific research results over 5 decades have proven that this method will not give us harmful side effects. In actuality, the effects are immensely minimal that it would not be easy to identify if a product has been irradiated.
What is a Gamma Irradiation Process?
It is the application of ionizing radiation to foods or products. It involves a high technology that improves the safety and prolongs the shelf life of foods by decreasing or eliminating microorganisms and insects. Food irradiation can make a supply safer to eat for the consumer. The process is comparable to canning fruits and vegetables. It is also the same as pasteurizing milk.
The Food and Drug Administration is the body that is responsible for the regulation of the sources of radiation that are employed to irradiate food or irradiated foods. The FDA endorses a source of radiation for application on foods only after it has determined that irradiating the foods is a safe process.
Why Do We Need to Irradiate Foods?
Food irradiation is a well-known method applied in the sterilization process over supplies in medical and agro productions. It can serve a lot of purposes in the food industry. So, we listed a few reasons why we need to irradiate foods.
- It prevents foodborne diseases.
It helps in effectively eliminating organisms that can cause foodborne diseases such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella.
It extends the shelf life of products or supplies.
It is an effective form of product or food preservation. It destroys organisms that can cause spoilage of foods by inactivating them. Thus, it prolongs the shelf life of foods.
- It controls the insect infestations.
It kills insects on tropical fruits such as mango products that are imported into the United States. It also reduces the requirement for other harmful pest control practices.
- It increases the life of the fruits or sprouting of plants such as spice plants and potatoes.
To help prolong the longevity of fruit products, this method is effective. The method can slow down the sprouting of plants such as potatoes and ripening of fruits.
- It is an effective sterilization method.
It is also the most effective way to sterilize foods which can be stored for long years without the need to refrigerate. Sterilized foods are highly useful in hospitals for patients with intensely degree impaired immune systems such as patients’ severe illnesses, or patients who are undergoing chemotherapy.
Irradiated foods provide higher levels of treatment than any other approved general use procedures.
Are Irradiated Foods Safe to Eat?
The FDA has examined irradiated foods’ safety. For over 3 decades, the body alongside other reputable and authorized bodies found out that the process is safe. Among all other bodies confirmed that irradiated foods are safe to eat include The U.S. Department of Agriculture, The World Health Organization, and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.