Document Type: Review Article

Authors

1 Islamic Azad University, Qaemshahr Branch, Qaemshahr, Iran

2 Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Shahre Kord, Iran

Abstract

In spite of the technologies developed during the last decade, the level of food loss is still high and is reported in many countries. According to the United Nations, more than 30 per cent of the mortality rate world-wide is caused by alimentary diseases. The desire of most countries to make food safer for consumption requires better food preservation and production techniques. In this regard, irradiation is an interesting alternative to be considered Food irradiation is a process exposing food to ionizing radiations such as gamma rays emitted from the radioisotopes 60Co and 137Cs, high energy electrons and X-rays produced by machine sources. Some agricultural products are important commodities in international trade. The trade of these products is often seriously hampered by infestation of several species of insects and mites. The presence of parasites, some microorganisms, yeast and moulds are also the source of problems, sometimes directly or indirectly through toxin formation in the food products. Irradiation alone or combined with others processes can contribute to ensuring food safety to healthy and compromised consumers, satisfying quarantine requirements and controlling severe losses during transportation and commercialization. Depending on the absorbed radiation dose, various effects can be achieved resulting in reduced storage losses, extended shelf life and/or improved microbiological and parasitological safety of foods. However, hindering factors in the way of commercial implementation of the food irradiation process are politics and consumer advocacy. This paper reviews the application of irradiation for preserving some fruit and vegetables.

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