Food irradiation is a process where food, along with its packaging, is exposed to ionizing radiation in different ways like x-rays, gamma rays, or electron beams. A technology that prevents food from quality deterioration, food irradiation is a widely followed practice across the globe. However, despite the extensive research and most studied technologies, the information regarding the working dynamics of food irradiation is not transparent and well communicated. Making the complexity easier for a large audience, here are a few frequently asked questions regarding the irradiation method of food preservation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Food Irradiation
- What is Food irradiation?
Food irradiation refers to using such technology to preserve the food using radiation energy to maintain the quality of the food and increase shelf life before it reaches the market or grocery stores. It only deals with the maintenance of food items without hampering the actual nutrient composition of the same.
- Why is it essential to irradiate food?
It helps prevent food poisoning by reducing the extent or level of various harmful viruses and bacteria in the food causing diseases. Hence, it also helps to avoid any foil spoilage, thus leading to increased shelf life.
- How food irradiation preserves the quality of food?
Like other preserving methods of canning and pasteurizing, gamma irradiation for food preservation also helps retain the essence of the food items for a more extended period by using a technology based on radiation energy in which it breaks down the chemical bonds to stop further multiplication of any present virus or pathogen in the food.
- Does food irradiation affect the quality of food?
No, irradiation has no harmful effects on the food items due to the radiation energy. It does not degrade the quality of the food item in terms of its nutritional value. It only focuses on killing the unwanted microbes from the body.
- How do I find out whether the food is irradiated?
Under the guidelines, any food item that has undergone irradiation shall be appropriately labeled and have a proper description and logo, which helps quickly identify the same. This is because irradiated food has no distinction in taste, smell, or color.
- What are the standards and rules for food preservation by radiation?
The standards and rules for food preservation by radiation revolve around the guidelines for the process and technology that must be used without compromising the quality and delivering the right food to the end users. It also talks about the level of efficacy and hygiene that is needed
- Which authorities are responsible for food irradiation in India?
The Food and Drug Administration, also known as FDA, is the guiding authority authorizing food irradiation in India.
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