What do you understand by Food Irradiation? What is the need for it?
Introduction: (up to 30 words) Write and explain Food Irradiation
Body: (up to 100 words) Explain the need for Food Irradiation
Conclusion: (up to 30 words) Give the advantages of Food Irradiation
Food irradiation means treatment of raw or processed food items with short wave radiation energy to preserve it. The radiant energies include gamma radiation, infrared, microwave radiation etc. The application of irradiation to preserve food is not new as meat, fish, fruits and vegetables have been preserved for centuries by the sun’s energy.
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Lasalgaon in Nashik district has started radiation process of mangoes.
Need for Food Irradiation:
The seasonal nature of production, long distances between production and consumption centres and rising gap between demand and supply increases the odds of post-harvest losses.
The hot and humid climate of a country like India is quite favourable for growth of numerous insects and microorganisms that destroy stored crops and cause spoilage of food every year.
Post-harvest losses in food and food grains in India is around 40-50 per cent, primarily due to insect infestation, microbiological contamination, physiological changes due to sprouting and ripening, and poor shelf life.
Sea-foods, meat and poultry may carry harmful microbes and parasitic organisms that cause illnesses associated with their consumption.
Advantages in Food preservation:
Products of any shape can be sterilized using gamma rays, which penetrate right through the package and products.
Being a cold process, heat sensitive food materials can also be sterilized safely.
Since sterilization is affected after final packaging, products sterility is retained indefinitely provided the package is undamaged.
The treated product can be used immediately.
No significant alteration in nutrition value, flavor texture and appearance of food.
It does not leave any harmful or toxic residues on foods as is the case with chemical fumigants.