This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Food Irradiation Essay

1115 words - 4 pages

Radioactive isotopes are atoms with unstable nuclei that can either occur naturally or by scientists in labs. Radioisotopes have a huge and important effect on the technologies that provide us with food, water and good health. Scientists, doctors and even people everywhere have always struggled with food poisoning and food spoilage because of the insects, fungi or bacteria that can cause human disease or cause food to spoil. Food irradiation is the process in which food is made food safer and more resistant to spoilage allowing it to have a longer shelf life and to be in better condition since it kills disease-causing organisms and slows or eliminates those that cause spoilage leading to it becoming able to stay fresher for a longer period of time. The Radioisotopes that are most commonly used for irradiating foods are cobalt-60 and cesium-137. Food Irradiation has several advantages and some disadvantages which both have their cultural, health and economic effects (Uses of Radioisotopes).
In the process of food irradiation, food is exposed to the gamma rays or x-ray rays emitted from one of the two radioisotopes cobalt-60 or cesium-137 (The Food Irradiation Process).

Food Irradiation has existed since the 1950s but has been more widely used in recent years. In Asia, specifically China there are 3 large gamma irradiators which in year 2005 got 140,000 tons of food irradiated which is a huge increase from the 80,000 tons irradiated in year 2001. And in India there are two demonstration facilities that use cobalt-60 one processing 30 tons per day and the other 10 tons per day, and even though India mostly uses cobalt-60 there are some beam plants being planned as well. As for in the USA, there are 50 irradiation facilities overall (Food Irradiation Around the World).

The picture below displays how during irradiation gamma rays pass through food, in this case a strawberry, and destroy the micro-organisms that can cause disease and spoilage, yet retain the food’s high quality (Food Irradiation).

Foods that have been irradiated have a special label on them called “Radura” so that consumers would know that this food has been irradiated. The Radura label is shown on the left.

Many types of foods can be irradiated, but it is most widely used on spices, herbs and dehydrated vegetables. Some meats can also undergo food irradiation such as pork and poultry.
Food irradiation has many benefits. One of its benefits is that even though it uses radiation rays, the food that’s being irradiated using gamma rays, X-rays and accelerated electrons under controlled conditions does not become radioactive because the energy used in irradiating it is not enough to make it radioactive.
Eating radioactive foods does not present any health risks. Food irradiation is FDA, USDA, and USDE approved.
Another benefit of using food irradiation is that it doesn’t change the food’s nutritional value. And the changes that are caused by...

Find Another Essay On Food Irradiation

The Debate on Food Irradiation Essay

3111 words - 12 pages Introduction There have been an increasing number of foodborne illnesses in this country and throughout the world in recent years. This has led to a heightened awareness of food safety. Food irradiation is being looked at as a potential solution to the problem. Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to ionizing radiation. Research shows that food irradiation can reduce or eliminate harmful pathogens and bacteria in our food

The Next Step: Food Irradiation Essay

2155 words - 9 pages sort of pathogen or bacteria on the food that some poor person ingested, unknowingly. In order to prevent more illness a possible new approach should be taken towards food safety. Currently not much food is irradiated in the United States, and the food that is typically goes to hospitals and nursing homes. The conventional food processing methods seem to be working, but still result in the statistic above. Although food irradiation can, lower the

Independant study project on food irradiation

1922 words - 8 pages Irradiation: A Safe Measure for Safer FoodConsumers beware! Are you afraid of the food on your plate? Well you should be if the hidden enemies lurking on your food have not been eradicated. "The threat is dangerous food-borne microorganisms that are tasteless, odorless, and invisible to the naked eye."(Acheson 1) Fortunately, forty years of research have proven that irradiation is a safe and effective method of killing bacteria and other disease

Technology IS running our food! - an argument style essay

650 words - 3 pages "Technology is ruining our food" Genetic engineering, food irradiation, food labelling are technologies which are ruining our foods. These are all creating unneeded health risks because the outcomes are unpredictable. Not that many years ago, consumers were able to go to the local shop or market and know what they were buying and be assured that it was fresh and had no hidden ingredients. These days, the story is completely different, as today's

Benefits and Inherent Risks of the Nuclear Industry

1000 words - 4 pages cancer and other diseases. In the food industry irradiation is used to make the food bacteria free and safer. There are many benefits and inherent risks in nuclear energy, and I feel that the benefits outweigh the inherent risks. In nuclear energy there are many benefits. One benefit is that nuclear energy is the world’s largest source of emission-free energy. This is because of the U.S. Clean Air Act of 1970 regulates limits on the emission of

Le Nucléaire: Une Option Verte ?

1592 words - 6 pages . Ce phénomène est également connu sous le nom de radiolyse. Par conséquent, les microbes meurent et ne peuvent plus se multiplier (U.S. EPA, 2013). (UW Food Irradiation Education Group, 2014) 4 4. Les interactions entre la science et l'irradiation 4.1 La santé Une bonne quantité de personnes affirment que l'irradiation n'affecte pas les valeurs nutritionnelles des aliments que nous consommons au

Organic Foods and the Indian Food Industry

596 words - 2 pages leads to healthy life for her family. 4. Irradiation Organic fruits and vegetables seem to spoil so much faster than produce from normal supermarkets. The reason is that many foods are irradiated. Irradiation kills bacteria and extends food life. 5. Save the Environment Conventional farming methods erode soil and use dangerous pesticides whereas, Organic food production is free from pesticides. RESEARCH CONTRIBUTION As it is very evident from

Organic vs. Non organic

913 words - 4 pages When you are at the grocery store do you buy just any brand? Do you know if you buy organic or non-organic? Organic food sales have increased significantly over the past couple years. Once only found in special health food stores, and farmers markets, organic food is now becoming a more regular feature at many if not most supermarkets. With the new choice of fresh organic veggies and fruits, which do you choose? On one shelf you have a

Effect of Gamma Radiation the Reproductive Ability of the Earthworm Eisenia Fetida

3055 words - 13 pages 146.75 CGy/min. After irradiation, pair of worms was placed in each plastic test container (11 cm diameter) provided with air dried cow dung as food. Moisture content in the test vessels was maintained (60-80%) by sprinkling water every alternate day. A month after irradiation, numbers of cocoons laid were counted and weighed (approximately 15 days after the cocoon laid). The adult worms were removed from the soil and placed in fresh cultures. Two

The Risk of Genetically Modified Foods

649 words - 3 pages ” by Michael Colby, he mentions that “in a study. Animals eating a diet of irradiated food experienced weight loss and miscarriage” (Colby, 163). He says that this due to the induced deficiency of the vitamin from the irradiated foods. The Irradiation food facilities put many lives on risk, for example worker-safety, public health, and ecological threats due to the potential radiation outflows. I believe that the more the technology is

Information on the radioisotope: Cobalt 60 used in medicine and in industry

660 words - 3 pages insoluble in water and does not present a risk of ground water contamination. In the process of food irradiation cobalt 60 kills bacteria and other pathogens, without damaging the product and is also cheap and easy to manufacture. In medicine, cobalt-60 destroys cancerous cells and is used in the sterilisation of medical equipment.However there are some problems associated with cobalt-60. Cobalt 60's 5.24 years half-life offers disadvantages, for

Similar Essays

Food Irradiation Essay

1204 words - 5 pages INTRODUCTION: Exposing food to irradiation is equal to about 30-milion chest X-rays. Food irradiation is the process of exposing food with a certain amount of ionizing radiation. This process started to be used widely in 1986 when the FDA has given the green light to expose nearly our entire food to ionizing irradiation. The purpose of this report is to illustrate food preservation methods, the history of food irradiation, the causes of the

Food Irradiation Essay

1689 words - 7 pages For the past 50 years, scientists have been studying the subject of food irradiation (Fan and Sommers 2). Food irradiation is the process where food is exposed to controlled amounts of ionizing radiation for a certain time to eliminate some microorganisms that cause diseases. Plus, the irradiation also prolongs the shelf life of some foods because the cells that are responsible of the spoilage of the food will be killed just like the

Is Food Irradiation Safe? Essay

1536 words - 6 pages In society today the subject of food safety is a growing concern among consumers. One reason is the emergence of new types of harmful bacteria or evolving forms of old ones that cause disease. Food Irradiation is a great new process that can eliminate disease- causing microorganisms such as E.coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, and Salmonella in foods. The process if irradiating food involves exposing food to carefully controlled amounts of ionizing

Irradiation Of Food Essay

1718 words - 7 pages Thesis: What you should know about irradiated food.Purpose: to educateAudience: Consumers Irradiation of food is a controversial topic at the present. Any person who eats is affected and those who are responsible for nourishing their families need to know everything they can about food irradiation so that they can make an informed decision for themselves and a safe one for those they feed. There