The requirement of preserving food has never become more relevant than now. The gap between demand and supply of fresh food has always been seen as a challenge. The reason for this gap is, of course, the seasonal production and the long distance to be covered for the produced food to reach consumption center can be considered as the two most critical challenges.
Now, in India, where the heat is mixed with immense humidity, the gap between demand and supply is much more visible. The insect infestation or microorganism is enough to destroy the fresh food. It does not only happen in the case of the crops, but the same thing happens to the seafood as well. And, the rising rate of spoilage was decreasing from nowhere until the Gamma Irradiation facilities in India has come to the focus.
Methods of Food Preservation India Has Practiced
Just like the various other parts of the world where raw food production is considered as a niche, in India also, different food preservation processes are being followed. Some of the most popular methods include drying in the sun, fermentation, and pickling. There are other techniques such as refrigerating and canning as well. Evidently, the last two methods are energy consuming.
So, there was always this search for a new method going on. The primary criteria were effective food preservation and that too without tampering the quality of the food in any way. The process of food irradiation has turned out to be one of the best and most practiced methods for food preservation in India recently, and the demand is gradually rising.
Sea Food and Irradiation
Now, let’s be specific to our topic here. Research work has proven the point that the process of irradiation has substantially minimized the amount of spoilage in fresh meat and seafood. The dosage or range of radiation given to seafood is around 1-10 kGy. This process of enhancing the shelf life of this sort of products is often termed as Radurization.
The Benefits of Using Irradiation on Sea Food
- The very first benefit is, of course, maximizing the shelf life of these fresh products. The seafood can be preserved for literally indefinite time till the package quality is not compromised.
- Secondly, the process of food irradiation also helps in minimizing the organism activities. The process can treat the spores or any traces of an infestation in the seafood in such a way so that it becomes untraceable by any method.
- Thirdly, the process further helps in the thermal canning. As a result, the shelf life of seafood automatically increases without even the need for refrigeration.
So, it’s evident that the future of food irradiation for seafood is quite bright in India. Be it for disinfection of dried seafood, the shelf-life extension of fresh seafood or pathogen control for the frozen seafood – with this method; everything is achievable. Consideration of more and more consumer responses, follow-up with the regulation and of course the economic changes definitely indicates to the non-disrupted flow of the technology in the seafood industry in the coming years.