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Food Irradiation Updates

  
Published by Ronald F. Eustice and sponsored  by Gray*Star Inc.
January  2014
Ron
Food Irradiation Update is published monthly by Ronald F. Eustice, a food quality & safety assurance consultant based in Minneapolis and Tucson. He can be reached at: reustice@gmail.com and at 612.202.1016.
Happy New Year! As we begin a new year it always good to reflect on the success we have had during the past year. Irradiation is being used worldwide as an environmentally-friendly process that makes our food safer, extends shelf-life and protects agriculture from harmful pests.  During 2013, the volume of irradiated food sold commercially in the United States and elsewhere grew significantly. Increasingly irradiation is being used to reduce vibrio vulnicus in shell fish to non-detectable levels and phytosanitary irradiation has opened up new markets worldwide. Additional facilities are being built for food safety, phytosanitary purposes and shelf-life extension.
IN THIS ISSUE
Crystal Seas Oysters Aim To Ensure Safety With Irradiated Crystal Clear Oysters
Evaluating the effects of gamma irradiation on raspberries
BARC urges irradiation for increasing shelf life of agricultural product
Food Irradiation in Canada
India continues to move forward with irradiation
Irradiation Facility Planned in Tamil Nadu, India
F.D.A. calls spice safety into question.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
QUICK LINKS
Crystal Seas Oysters Aim To Ensure Safety With Irradiated Crystal Clear Oysters (November 27, 2013)
 GULFPORT, MISSISSIPPI: Gulf Coast oyster processors have taken strides in post-harvest technologies to ensure safer alternatives to traditional raw oysters. One example is Crystal Seas Oysters' Crystal Clear Oysters, which are live, in-shell oysters that have been irradiated and tested to ensure safe, high-quality, reef-fresh flavor all-year long. Mississippi Gulf Oysters have always been prized for their plump rich meat and subtle flavors of the sea, but with Crystal Seas Oysters' irradiation process, consumers can feel even better about enjoying this quality tested shellfish.

Crystal Clear Oysters are unique because they have been irradiated to reduce Vibrio, a naturally occurring bacteria that can cause severe illness, to non-detectable levels. During the summer months, shellfish safety can sometimes be questionable when a high concentration of the dangerous Vibrio bacteria is present. This is no longer a concern with the Crystal Seas Oysters' irradiation system, which also prolongs shelf life and allows oysters to remain cold throughout the irradiation process. To do this, Crystal Seas Oysters uses a $5 million food irradiation facility located at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. Crystal Clear Oysters are one-of-a-kind because they are still alive after the process, so they can be served raw on the half shell.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: Mississippi Gulf Fresh Seafood

Read more here....

Evaluating the effects of gamma irradiation on raspberries; Fresh Plaza (January 3, 2014)By Emanuela Fontana:

The increasing demand for high-quality foods in terms of sensorial quality and safety, has showed the current consumer trend that consumers prefer ready-to-eat foods with high nutritional value and low energy, without chemical additives or preservatives.   

Portuguese scientists have evaluated the effects of gamma irradiation on fresh packaged raspberries testing different gamma rays doses (0.5; 1.0; 1.5 kGy). After irradiation, the packaged raspberries were stored at 4°C for 14 days. Before and after treatment, the scientists performed microbiological analyses and the evaluation of the total phenol content, antioxidant activity, physicochemical parameters (firmness, color, pH, soluble solids, acidity) and sensorial parameters. 

This study showed that the gamma radiation at 1.5 kGy does not have a negative impact on raspberry sensorial quality and it can reduce by 1 log unit the microbial load; however the scientists highlight the necessity of further studies to understand the real beneficial effects of irradiation technology on raspberries.

 

BARC urges irradiation for increasing shelf life of agricultural products; The Times of India (November 8, 2013):

MADURAI, INDIA: Can flowering of a jasmine be delayed for a few hours so that when a buyer in a European nation opens a carton from Madurai, he could get farm fresh flowers with its renowned fragrance intact?

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) of Mumbai, India says yes. "If the buds are irradiated, the flowering process can be delayed for up to six hours," says A K Sharma, head, food technology division, BARC. If one goes by the words of Sharma, irradiation technology would go a long way in increasing the export of Madurai malli, with technology enabled increase in shelf life. Not just the jasmine, sprouting in onion and potato, which are key factors that reduce shelf life of these vegetables, could be contained with radiation technology.
Read more here...

Food Irradiation in Canada; Consumers' Association of Canada; (December 3, 2013) National News Service:

OTTAWA: At a time when near disasters are occurring in our food system on an almost weekly basis Canadian Consumers ask why Irradiation Protection has not been implemented in Canada. "Access to irradiated food will provide peace of mind to those who take advantage and those who prefer another solution should be free to make that choice. Not only are consumers being denied irradiation but implementation is being obstructed and frustrated." Said President, Bruce Cran. The Consumers' Association calls on Minister of Health, Ambrose, to take immediate action to provide the irradiation option to Canadian Consumers. SOURCE Consumers' Association of Canada. Read more here...

India continues to move forward with irradiation; Deccan Chronicle (November 9, 2013):

MADURAI, TAMIL NADU, INDIA: Food grain producers and merchants in Tamil Nadu will not have to manually dry their products under sun in the future to free them from micro-organisms bef­ore getting them pac­ked.They can get to see their commodities be­ing irradiated at the state-of-the-art Tamil Nadu Foodgrain Mark­eting Yard in Madurai.

The foodgrain yard, a public-private partnership set up at a cost of Rs 40 crore at Sikk­anadar Ch­avadi on the outskirts of the city in September, is expected to house a radiation facility with the help of Bhabha Atomic Res­earch Ce­ntre (Barc) and Depa­rtment of Ato­mic Energy.

J. Daniel Chellappa, senior scientist with Barc, said, "The yard has expressed its willingness to set up a food irradiation facility for effective food storage and preservation. In that case, it will be the first among the private and public sectors in Tamil Nadu to go for irradiation processing technology which ensures safety in all aspects.

Irradiation Facility Planned in Tamil Nadu, India; 
Asian Ag
(November 9, 2013):
MADURAI, INDIA: Soon food grain producers and merchants in Tamil Nadu, India will not have to manually dry their products under sun to free them from micro-organisms bef­ore getting them pac­ked.
They can get to see their commodities be­ing irradiated at the state-of-the-art Tamil Nadu Foodgrain Mark­eting Yard in Madurai.
The foodgrain yard, a public-private partnership set up at a cost of Rs. 40 crore at Sikk­anadar Ch­avadi on the outskirts of the city in September, is expected to house an irradiation facility with the help of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (Barc) and Depa­rtment of Ato­mic Energy.
J. Daniel Chellappa, senior scientist with Barc, said, "The yard has expressed its willingness to set up a food irradiation facility for effective food storage and preservation. In that case, it will be the first among the private and public sectors in Tamil Nadu to go for irradiation processing technology which ensures safety in all aspects." 
Read more here...

F.D.A. calls spice safety into question.The Food and Drug Administration cited the 'poor or inconsistent application of preventive controls' as reasons for concern; Food Business News; (November 1, 2013):

WASHINGTON - A draft risk profile of spices conducted by the Food and Drug Administration and published Oct. 30 indicates pathogen contamination and filth may be a systemic problem throughout the spice supply chain. The risk profile was initiated in response to outbreaks of food-borne illness caused by the consumption of Salmonella-contaminated spices in the United States.

Failures identified in the farm-to-table food safety system potentially leading to adulteration of consumed spices generally arose from poor or inconsistent application of preventive controls, the F.D.A. said. The risk profile study identified 14 spice/seasoning-associated outbreaks worldwide that occurred from 1973 to 2010, resulting in less than 2,000 reported human illnesses and 128 hospitalizations worldwide.

The agency added it is also possible illnesses caused by contaminated spices are underreported, particularly because of challenges related to attribution for minor ingredients in multi-ingredient foods.The draft risk profile is available on the F.D.A. web site and may be viewed by clicking here.  Read more here... 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Radura
FOOD IRRADIATION: A GUIDE FOR CONSUMERS, POLICYMAKERS AND THE MEDIA published by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) can be downloaded at Food Irradiation Book
IRRADIATED FOODS; published by the American Council on Science & Health Provides Science- provides science-based Information on food irradiation. The booklet can be downloaded at:IRRADIATED FOODS
FOOD IRRADIATION: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS is an excellent source of information on food irradiation.FOOD IRRADIATION: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Food Irradiation Update is being sent to you by Ronald F. Eustice and is sponsored by GRAY*STAR, Inc., the manufacturer of the Genesis Irradiator.

Ronald F. Eustice
Minneapolis, MN
USA

Remember: Food irradiation is a cold pasteurization process that will do for meats, produce, and other foods what thermal pasteurization did for milk decades ago.
Sincerely,
Ronald F.  Eustice
(612) 202-1016 
reustice@gmail.com 

 



 
 

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