Board Of Radiation and Isotope Technology, Irradiation

One of the three types of natural radioactivity is gamma radiation. Gamma rays, like X-rays, are electromagnetic radiation. Alpha and beta radiation are the other two kinds of natural radioactivity. With a wavelength of less than one-tenth of a nanometer, gamma rays are the most powerful electromagnetic radiation. The result of radioactive atoms is gamma irradiation.

The most common source of gamma rays for irradiation processing is the isotope Cobalt-60. The Cobalt-60 is made expressly for irradiation and housed in specially built double encapsulated Stainless-Steel Pencils housed in a carefully developed system that follows strict norms and regulations.

Since the temperature of the processed product does not rise much, gamma irradiation is referred to as a “Cold Process.” It’s also a chemical-free method that’s unaffected by humidity, temperature, or pressure. Board of Radiation and Isotope technology is one of the organizations responsible for the production of gamma radiation.

Uses of gamma irradiation

Gamma irradiation is used in industry (sterilization and disinfection), medicine (radiotherapy), and nuclear. The use of gamma irradiation to sterilize medical devices and medications is particularly appealing. It causes little or no temperature rise, no residue and does not require any quarantine period after processing.

It is used in food irradiation to enhance food safety and shelf life by decreasing or eradicating microbes and insects.

It is used in polymer modification, especially in industries that deal with plastic or rubber products. Irradiation causes the polymer materials to be more resistant and stronger.

The process of gamma irradiation

  1. The products are loaded to the gamma irradiation processing unit.
  2. The products are packed in totes and passed through the radiation cell.
  3. The product is circulated in the radiation source for a set amount of time to deliver the required dose.
  4. Once the cycle is completed, products are unloaded from the irradiation chamber, packed, and delivered to the users.

Gamma irradiation is used in food and agricultural industries and has the following benefits;

  • Gamma irradiation significantly increases the life span of the products, e.g., agricultural products like potatoes and onion sprouts, when kept for long. Gamma irradiation can inhibit sprouting.
  • Eliminate harmful microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
  • Gamma irradiation process is a clean and cold process (no rise in temperature or residue is incurred)
  • For packed products, gamma irradiation treatment can be done after packing.

Role of board of radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT)

The Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology is an independent division of the Department of Atomic Energy that develops radiation and isotope-based goods and services in healthcare, agriculture, research, and industry.

  • BRIT offers services and accreditation for radioanalytical measurements of radioactivity in various commodities and the usage of radiotracers in the oil and petroleum industries to troubleshoot various challenges.
  • BRIT provides technical assistance in the establishment of gamma radiation-based food processing units in the private sector.
  •  Fabrication of seal sources for radiation technology equipment includes radiographic cameras, gamma chambers, blood irradiators, teletherapy, and nucleonic gauges.
  • Radiation processing and related technologies and practices
  • It also produces and supplies radiopharmaceutical products.

Gamma irradiation plays a significant role in industry and pharmaceuticals. The Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology has ensured a constant supply of radiation-based goods and services through its advanced technology.