Food irradiation helping improve food safety
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Food Irradiation Helping Improve Food Safety. The UW Food Irradiation Education Group. Why Food Irradiation? Food Safety. In 1999, food-borne disease was responsible for: † 76 million illnesses 325,000 hospitalizations 5000 deaths $6-30 billion impact Recent news stories.

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Food Irradiation Helping Improve Food Safety

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Food irradiation helping improve food safety

Food IrradiationHelping Improve Food Safety

The UW Food Irradiation Education Group


Why food irradiation food safety

Why Food Irradiation?Food Safety

  • In 1999, food-borne disease was responsible for:†

    • 76 million illnesses

    • 325,000 hospitalizations

    • 5000 deaths

    • $6-30 billion impact

  • Recent news stories...

† According to US Center for Disease Control


Why food irradiation global food supply

Why Food Irradiation?Global Food Supply

  • Approximately 25% of worldwide food production is lost after harvesting due to insects, bacteria and spoilage†

  • Economic losses of $5-17 billion annually in the US alone

  • In the news now….

† According to UN Food and Agriculture Organization


What is food irradiation

What is Food Irradiation?

  • New commercial technology to eliminate disease-causing germs

  • Comparable to heat pasteurization

  • Used for decades in NASA space missions

  • already used for sterilization of:

    • medical devices, supplies and implants

    • wine corks and other food packaging materials

    • cosmetic ingredients


How does food irradiation help

How Does Food Irradiation Help?

  • food is exposed to carefully controlled amounts of radiation

  • radiation damages DNA of microbes and parasites

    • disease-causing germs are reduced

    • bacteria which cause spoiling are reduced

    • sprouting is slowed or stopped


What are the results of food irradiation

What are the Results of Food Irradiation?

  • When used in conjunction with proper food handling procedures:

    • food-borne diseases are reduced or eliminated

    • shelf-life is increased

    • the nutritional value of the food is preserved

    • the food does not become radioactive

    • dangerous substances do not appear in the foods


What foods can be irradiated

Approval Year

Food

Purpose

Wheat Flour

Control of mold

1963

White Potatoes

Inhibit sprouting

1964

Pork

Kill Trichina parasite

1986

  • Insect Control

  • Increase Shelf Life

1986

Fruit and Vegetables

Herbs and Spices

Sterilization

1986

1990(FDA)

1992(USDA)

Poultry

1997(FDA)

1999(USDA)

Meat

What Foods Can Be Irradiated?

Bacterial

pathogen

reduction


Puchasing irradiated food

All irradiated products must be marked with the “Radura”

Puchasing Irradiated Food?

  • Irradiated meats expected to be more widely available this summer

  • If interested, ask your local grocery retailer


Benefits of food irradiation

Benefits of Food Irradiation

  • decreased incidence of food-borne illness

  • reduced spoilage in global food supply

  • increased level of quality assurance in international trade of food products


Food irradiation facilities

Food Irradiation Facilities

SOURCE HOISTS

SOURCE PASS CONVEYOR

UNLOADING ELEVATOR

IRRADIATION ROOM

CONTROL CONSOLE

LOADING ELEVATOR

JS8900 UNIT CARRIER IRRADIATOR


Three different energy sources electron beams

Three different energy sourceselectron beams

  • a beam of electrons is accelerated by an electron gun

    • similar to a TV tube, accelerating electrons towards the screen

  • it can be turned on or off since it uses no radioactive material, but…

  • electron beams can only penetrate about 1” into material


Three different energy sources x rays

Three different energy sourcesx-rays

  • generated by directing an electron beam at a thin metal plate

  • similar to medical x-ray sources


Three different energy sources gamma rays

Three different energy sourcesgamma rays

  • emitted from spontaneous radioactive decay

  • “pencils” of naturally occurring non-radioactive cobalt metal (59Co)

  • neutron bombardment in reactor to produce radioactive cobalt (60Co)

  • “turned-off” by lowering Co source into storage pool


Effects of radiation how it kills bacteria

Effects of radiationHow it kills bacteria

  • radiation damages DNA of organisms

    • if the damage is not automatically repaired the organism will be unable to replicate itself

  • chance of DNA damage related to size of DNA

    • irradiation more effective on bacteria than viruses


Effects of radiation effect on food

Effects of radiationEffect on Food

  • most food is made up of dead cells

    • DNA damage is irrelevant

  • living cells cause sprouting and spoilage

    • DNA damage delays spoiling and prevents sprouting

    • longer shelf-life


Effects of radiation side effects

Effects of radiationSide-effects

  • Nutritional effects

    • macronutrients - proteins, carbohydrates, fats - unaffected

    • micronutrients - vitamins - some reduction

      • comparable to other processing or storage techniques including pasteurization, canning, or even cold storage

  • No change in taste


Costs of food irradiation

Costs of Food Irradiation

  • Like any food process, irradiation will add to the cost of the food

    • initially 2-3¢/lb for produce, 3-5¢/lb for beef

    • expected to decrease as it becomes more common

  • Typical food irradiation plant: $3-5 million

    • compare to

      • moderately sized pasteurization plant: $2 million

      • small vapor-heat treatment for fruits: $1 million


Safety of irradiation facilities

Safety of Irradiation Facilities

  • Over 30 yrs of experience

    • 100+ medical sterilization plants

    • medical radiation treatment centers

    • bone marrow transplant centers

  • No public exposure to radiation

  • Independent regulators:

    • gamma rays: NRC

    • X-rays & e-beams: FDA


Facility accidents and waste

Facility Accidents and Waste

  • Severe accidents are not possible

    • electron beam and x-ray sources can be easily turned off

    • gamma ray sources cannot blow up

  • The facility itself cannot become radioactive

  • no radioactive waste

    • used Co-60 gamma sources can be recycled/regenerated


Food irradiation as part of comprehensive food safety

Food Irradiation as Part of Comprehensive Food Safety

  • food irradiation is not a replacement for comprehensive food safety

  • in particular, food irradiation cannot reverse the spoilage process

  • irradiated foods need to be stored, handled and cooked in the same way as unirradiated food


Benefits of food irradiation1

Benefits of Food Irradiation

  • disease-causing germs are reduced or eliminated

  • the nutritional value of the food is preserved

  • decreased incidence of food-borne illness

  • reduced spoilage in global food supply

  • increased level of quality assurance in international trade of food products


Food irradiation means safer food

Food Irradiation Means Safer Food

The UW Food Irradiation Education Group

http://uw-food-irradiation.engr.wisc.edu

[email protected]


Radiation dose

Radiation dose

  • the quantity of radiation absorbed by the food

  • measured in Grays (Gy)

    • 1 Gy = 1 Joule absorbed per kilogram of food

  • international health and safety authorities have endorsed radiation levels for food up to 10,000 Gy (10 kGy)


What foods can be irradiated1

Approval Year

Dose (kGy)

Food

Purpose

Wheat Flour

0.2-0.5

Control of mold

1963

White Potatoes

0.05-0.15

Inhibit sprouting

1964

Pork

0.3-1.0

Kill Trichina parasite

1986

  • Insect Control

  • Increase Shelf Life

1986

Fruit and Vegetables

1.0

Herbs and Spices

30

Sterilization

1986

1990(FDA)

1992(USDA)

3(FDA)

1.5-3(USDA)

Poultry

1997(FDA)

1999(USDA)

Meat

4.5

What Foods Can Be Irradiated?

Bacterial

pathogen

reduction


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