Food Irradiation Analysis

Food irradiation is a technology that applies ionizing radiation to foods to reduce or eliminate the microorganisms and insects in foods for the improvement of food safety and extension of the shelf life of foodstuffs. The technology can effectively eliminate microorganisms associated with foodborne illnesses in foods. It can also inactive or destroy microorganisms that cause spoilage to extend the shelf life.  Food irradiation is currently a regulated and widely used technology to prevent the losses and eliminate the microbial contamination of foods. The irradiation technology does not make foods radioactive. The changes on the nutritional quality and taste, appearance or texture of foods are very minimal.

There are several types of radiation technologies that have been approved to apply on foods. X-rays are formed by high-energy electromagnetic radiation of up to 5 MeV that can disrupt molecular bonds. Electron beam is similar to X-rays and is also a stream of high-energy electrons of up to 10 MeV. Gamma rays are emitted by the atomic nucleus and widely used in the sterilization.

Food Irradiation Analysis

Figure 1. Labelling of food irradiation

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has issued a standard for treatment of foods using ionizing radiation. The irradiation technology applied on food processing has been approved in more than 50 countries according to the Irradiated Food Authorization Database. There are regulations on the categories of foods that are approved to use irradiation technology and the maximum doses permitted to apply on foods. These regulations vary from country to country. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the foods that can be treated by radiation only when the foods have been determined safe after irradiation. An accurate labeling on the irradiated foods was required by the regulations across the world to inform whether the food products or ingredients within them have been irradiated.

The identification and detection of irradiated foods are important and necessary to enforce the requirements for the labeling of irradiated foods. The knowledge about the chemical changes induced by radiation in foods can provide the scientific information for the safety evaluation of irradiated foods after consumption.

There are an array of techniques or platforms to choose from for the identification and detection of irradiated foods. The examples of commonly used techniques for the irradiation testing analysis in foods include electron spin resonance (ESR), luminescence methods, biological methods and chemical methods. The most widely used methods are electron spin resonance which is for foods with shells, bones or other particles, and luminescence methods which are for foods with mineral dust particles. The chemical methods are based on the determination of products as a result of irradiation such as alkylcyclobutanones. DNA-comet assay is newly developed biological method for irradiation testing.

Creative Proteomics strictly complies with the quality assurance/quality control plan and regulatory requirements of each country and region to provide support to you, including but not limited to the following criteria and methods:

  • ISO
  • ASTM
  • AOAC
  • EC 1935/2004
  • LFGB
  • DM 21/03/1973
  • JFSL
  • GB/T & SN
  • UAE.S / GSO 2231: 2012

Our services for irradiation testing in foodstuffs:

Our company provides a variety of different services to meet the customers' need for the analysis of the food irradiation testing.  We provide full analysis services including sample preparation, food irradiation identification and detection, data analysis and customized analysis. We have strong experience working with different regulations and standards of irradiation testing.

* Not intended for personal food safety testing.

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