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Food Irradiation Updates

  
Published by Ronald F. Eustice and sponsored  by GRAY*STAR Inc.
May 2017
Food Irradiation Update is published monthly by Ronald F. Eustice, a food quality & safety assurance consultant based in Tucson, Arizona. He can be reached at:
and at 612.202.1016
No more tolerance for outbreaks; Irradiation to make food safer; Why wait?
With the exception of irradiation or cooking, there was really no way to guarantee the elimination of pathogens from raw animal products." We know that few know how to cook and even fewer know correct cooking temperatures so it seems that irradiation is the only sure way to make vulnerable foods as safe as can be. Irradiated meat and produce became available in the supermarket more than 17 years ago. There were critics and doubters, but the fact is that millions of pounds of irradiated produce and meats have been consumed and no one has become ill from eating them. The companies that irradiate meat and produce know that there is virtually no consumer resistance and in fact their customers prefer irradiated when they have even a small amount of knowledge of why irradiation is used. There has never been a lawsuit over illness from irradiated food, because no one gets ill from food that has been irradiated as long as it is not re-contaminated. What are we waiting for; another lawsuit? 
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Article: Irradiation in Hawaii; By Ronald F. Eustice:
Irradiation has made exports of Hawaii fruit to US mainland possible 
Michael Kohn established Michael Kohn dba Hawaii Fruit Company in 1987 and began to export papayas to Germany and Switzerland. Phytosanitary treatment was not a requirement for access to the European market and business grew rapidly. To justify shipping costs from Hawaii to Europe, it was necessary to offer a value-added product, which turned out to be tree-ripened fruits.
 
At about the same time Kohn wanted to ship papaya and other fruit to the US Mainland, however, because of fruit flies and other pests of concern to U.S mainland agriculture, most fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Hawaii require post-harvest quarantine treatment prior to export to the Mainland. Kohn says, "At that time, the only approved treatment to mitigate the pests were vapor or dry heat, but fully-ripened fruit would not tolerate the heat or vapor treatment."
 
Kohn abandoned the idea of shipping to Hawaii's largest traditional market, the US Mainland, until he learned about irradiation from Lyle Wong, who was then Administrator of the Plant Industry Division of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Wong began to discuss irradiation with Kohn in 1995.
 
At first, Kohn was quite skeptical of the idea to use irradiation treatment, but gradually became a firm believer. Wong showed Kohn that irradiation offered much greater opportunity to Hawaii's farmers and shippers than any other treatment. Treating fully tree-ripened papayas was the first opportunity.
 
The second opportunity was the fact that produce would be treated after it had been packed out in the final export box. It allowed for continuous control of product quality by farmers and shippers, which is not the case of papaya delivered by growers to contract heat treatment facilities where the fruit is heat treated prior to sorting and packing. For those farmers and shippers that were already exporting (to places that did not require treatment like Canada) few changes were necessary in order to ship to the US Mainland. The only difference was that product would need to be treated by irradiation before loading on planes or ships to the Mainland. Irradiation:
 
The third opportunity for Hawaii agriculture is the fact that irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment can treat almost all of Hawaii grown crops. While thermal or chemical treatment is crop specific, irradiation is pest specific. Many crops such as basil, do not require any form of treatment. They just have to be free of pests. In reality many shippers have experienced rejections of consignments as a result of hitch hiking pests, especially in California. The rejections are costly and leave customers with no product to sell. Irradiation quarantine treatment is an efficient and effective handling step to neutralize pests of concern to US agriculture. At first Kohn shipped untreated fruit to Chicago and New Jersey under USDA, APHIS, PPQ Limited Permit for irradiation treatment in commercial irradiators. That venture, which lasted five years, was expensive but very effective. Transportation costs were high but so was the quality, in fact there were no negative aspects to quality at all. Consumer acceptance was very good. It became obvious that in order to reduce costs, a reliable irradiation facility open and accessible to all farmers and shippers was needed in Hawaii.
 
A Gray*Star Genesis II irradiator installed at Pa'ina Hawaii in 2012 

In 2005, Michael became a co-owner and president of Pa'ina Hawaii. Pa'ina Hawaii installed a Gray*Star Genesis II irradiator in 2012 and began offering commercial irradiation phytosanitary services on January 31, 2013. The facility is currently treating papaya, Okinawan purple sweet potato, sweet and Thai basil, Moringa leaves and pods (i.e., drum sticks), ginger, melons, taro leaves, curry leaves, longan, litchi, mangosteen, and rambutan using low-dose irradiation. A higher dose is used to sterilize finely ground macadamia nut shell used as an ingredient in cosmetics. Thus far Pa'ina has been irradiating mostly Hawaii grown products but some imports from the US Mainland to Hawaii market are anticipated because irradiation is an alternative to methyl bromide fumigation. Potential also exists for high-risk pest commodities such as cut flowers and foliage from Pacific Island areas for pest disinfestation. The Pa'ina Hawaii facility also has the potential to be used to irradiate Asian-grown produce destined for the US Mainland.
 
The company is located 21 minutes from Honolulu International Airport and about 30 minutes from Honolulu harbor. The Honolulu airport as well as the harbor is the logistical focal points in the state of Hawaii.
 
Almost all outbound or inbound cargo transits through Honolulu. Especially on outer-islands Pa'ina provides additional services. These include trucking, refrigeration, container loading and TSA screening. According to Michael "it is not enough to provide a piece of paper that allows you to ship to the Mainland, we need also ensure that product quality will
not change before reaching the Mainland.
 
Over 25 years of hands on experience with papayas have taught me that handling and refrigeration are of utmost importance". While growth was slow in the beginning, Kohn says business has been picking up and Pa'ina Hawaii has become a credible business that Hawaiian farmers and shippers can rely on. Besides their own produce, Pa'ina Hawaii is irradiating products for over thirty shippers and farmers that do their own marketing and shipping. Kohn says that the customers come in all sizes.
 
Kohn did not disclose volume but information from several sources indicates that two
Hawaiian irradiation companies irradiate about 16 million pounds of product annually.
Kohn keeps customer names confidential but indicates that if someone in the trade asks about a specific commodity, information is passed on to the shipper/farmer for follow-up contact to bring producers, shippers and buyers together.
 
Pa'ina Hawaii irradiates a wide variety of tropical fruits but the main product is the purple sweet potato sent to the US mainland. 
Kohn says that customers have been very positive about irradiation. He says, "irradiation does not diminish the quality of produce, and at best it can be used to achieve extraordinary results. He adds, "It's the only treatment that can be used to treat fully tree-ripened fruits and we all know the difference between a forced to ripen fruit and one picked ripe off a tree. We have a very good customer in Los Angeles that sells to high-end restaurants. High-end restaurants require readily useable fruit. You cannot tell a customer to come back to your restaurant in three days when the fruit becomes ready to eat. High-end restaurants want to distinguish themselves by using high quality products. In the case of tree ripened papayas (or any other fruits) irradiation allows for a distinctly better taste and texture."
 
Today, thanks to irradiation more than ten countries are using the technology for market access to the United States. Through USDA/APHIS efforts US growers now have access to markets in those same countries.
 
Irradiation in many cases is mandatory and the only available treatment to mitigate the threat from harmful pests. Kohn says the market for irradiated produce is growing not only in the US but also other markets important to Hawaii like New Zealand and Australia. "China has a very active food irradiation program and we hope to ship to the huge Chinese market soon," he adds.

Unique micro-climates make Hawaii a major fruit producer. 
There is an endless list of products that can be irradiated and must be irradiated to gain
market access. Hawaii has unique microclimates. Almost anything can be grown in
Hawaii. Kohn says that he had never heard.

So far there has never been an infestation caused on the US Mainland by product that was irradiated and shipped from either Hawaii or foreign countries. That is impressive while the treatment by itself causes no negative impacts on humans or the environment. Sometimes you can have your papaya and eat it too." When asked what it would take to gain more interest in using some form of irradiation to treat finished products, Kohn said, "Irradiation needs to be better explained. The positive aspects are plenty while the negative are very few." Pa'ina Hawaii regularly receives inquiries about irradiation, how it works, what the cost is, what other services are provided and also about potential drawbacks. Kohn says, "That's how customers and the public are educated." Kohn says, "Phytosanitary treatment by irradiation allows Hawaiian agriculture to access the most important market - the US Mainland. This is only true if the irradiation facility does not monopolize markets but rather ensures fair and open access to everyone in Hawaii. We have committed to that long before we became operational.

Hawaii agriculture faces many problems. Market access should not be one of them but it has been."
MYTH of the MONTH: "Irradiated foods taste bad." By Russell Stein
Myth: "Irradiated foods taste bad."
 
Reality:
Some foods irradiated at certain doses can have flavor changes.  However, if they have a bad taste they will not be marketable.  Therefore, irradiated food that is sold in stores does not taste bad.

The irradiation of food is a gentle process when compared to other processes such as heating.  Normally, there is very little effect on the food.  For some foods, there are effects on taste that are detectable at certain dose levels.

When a company is interested in irradiating their food product they test samples of the food by irradiating them to the highest dose that they would expect commercial lots of the food to receive.  They need to handle these samples as close as practical to the way that they would handle commercial product. Product handling and shipping might have an effect on the food product that is independent from the irradiation process.  When performing these tests, it is also important to send a control sample along with the samples to be irradiated.  This control should be treated as close as practical to the samples that are irradiated...effectively irradiated to a zero dose.  A second control sample should be kept at the place of origin to be able to compare this sample with both the irradiated samples and the "zero dose" control sample.  By using this approach, the food company can determine if the handling, shipping and/or the irradiation has had any effect on their product.  Often these effects can be minimized or eliminated by changing the way the product is handled.

Once a company has tested their product, under their handling conditions, they need to evaluate the product to determine if there are any effects.  More importantly, if there are any effects, they need to determine if those effects would have a negative impact on marketing the product.  Obviously, if they do, then they would not market the product.   Sometimes there are negative effects that are minimal (would not affect the marketing of the product) or positive effects that might actually enhance the marketing of the product.  The important point is that if a food company determines that there is a significant negative effect on their product, it would not be marketed and therefore, not available to consumers.  A company is not going to sell a food product that has a bad taste.

Many years ago when it was realized that there may be advantages to irradiating food, extensive "basic" research was performed.  Food was irradiated at very high doses to determine what effects the irradiation had on food.  One of the questions was how high a dose could a specific food be irradiated to before developing a bad taste?  Obviously, to determine this dose, it was required to irradiate the test samples until a bad taste was detected.  This leads to a statement that I hear quite often:  "I've read that irradiated [fill in your favorite food] taste horrible!"  That leads to my questions:  "What was the dose that it was irradiated at, and under what conditions, such as temperature?"  Similarly, any food will also taste bad if overcooked.  If a hamburger was cooked at 600 degrees for an hour, I'm sure you would not find it on the menu at your local burger joint.  Does this mean that we shouldn't be able to buy properly cooked hamburgers?

Irradiation may have a negative impact at a certain dose on specific foods.  If they do, then they will not be marketed.  However, this should never be used as an excuse not to allow the use of irradiation on food.  If this argument were used on the cooking of hamburgers, our holiday menu would be severely impacted.

On a side note, sometimes the irradiation of certain foods has a positive effect on taste.  Personally I prefer the taste of irradiated crab meat.  But, then again, I love creamed succotash!
Link to Article ...
Russell Stein 
GRAY*STAR, Inc.
Also in the News: Vietnamese mangoes arrive in Australia; VietNam News Agency (VNA) (May 4, 2017):
Irradiated mangoes from Vietnam's northern province of Son La will arrive in Australia 
HANOI (VNA) - Vietnam's northern province of Son La will export mangoes to Australia for the first time in May, according to the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The department has recently worked with the provincial People's Committee to build a coordination programme with Agricare Vietnam Co., Ltd to grant codes to areas growing mangoes for export and to implement irradiation services.

Director of the department's plant quarantine centre Le Nhat Thanh said his centre will work with the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to hold a training course for farmers and provide codes for Yen Chau and Mai Son districts to export mangoes to Australia.

Mangoes exported to Australia must undergo irradiation.

Two batches of mangoes (each about 10 tonnes) will be exported to the market at the end of May. Mangoes purchased by businesses for export normally cost 15-20 percent higher than others.

Son La is home to more than 4,000 hectares of mangoes, hundreds of which use the Vietnam Good Agricultural Practice (VietGap). Agricare Vietnam Co., Ltd mainly buys mangoes from southern provinces for export. This is the first time the company has purchased mangoes in the north for export.

Son La mangoes have been sent to Australian partners and received good feedback. The local mangoes will be packaged and transported to Hanoi for irradiation before being sold to Australia.

Apart from round-shaped mangoes, local farmers are expanding areas for hybrid mangoes in Yen Chau, Moc Chau and Mai Son districts. The potential for exporting mangoes to foreign markets is huge. The Plant Protection Department is also working with local authorities to grant codes for longan areas in Song Ma district, which has some 6,000 hectares of longans.

Since 2016, the province asked the department to help businesses build a brand name for Son La longans for exports in 2018.-VNA
Also in the News: Bonamar Corporation uses innovative technology to
provide safer crabmeat. Food & Drink; By Blanca Herron (April 21, 2017):
Bonamar Corporation, Medley, Florida has launched irradiated crabmeat as a value-added product. 
Argenis Contreras founded Bonamar Corporation in 2003 in Miami, Fla. as an importer of fresh crabmeat from his processing and packaging plant in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Fourteen years later, the Medley, Fla.-based company has become an industry leader building its Premium National brand, Sebastian.

"We provide a variety of high-quality products that range from fresh, pasteurized and frozen crab meat," Vice President of Sales and Marketing Alex Cook says. "We also offer soft shell crabs, whole blue crabs, frozen crab meat, shrimp and breaded oysters. Additionally, we have launched a new irradiation process for our company to offer the safest crabmeat in the industry. We are rapidly evolving and growing into the fin fish and value-added channels as well."
Adding Value

Bonamar's customer range is strategically divided into three sales divisions: wholesale, retail and foodservice. "We sell to everyone from the diner down the street to supermarkets and everything in between," Cook says, noting that the company's goal is to be a value-added resource to its customers.

"One of the challenges in seafood when you're dealing with commodities is to bring more value to customers," he explains. "That could be by a safer, improved product or a product that meets a price point that allows our customers to be able to menu it easily. That's why we are always looking to create that value."

Bonamar's culinary team focuses on menu creation and finding different applications for its products. "We're really trying to be the total package in terms of product support, quality, price and innovation," Cook says. "We're using new technology to improve our products and really lead the industry."

For example, the company has partnered with Gulfport, Miss.-based company Gateway America, to launch the first nationally marketed line of extended safety crabmeat products in the industry. "We are the first company in the U.S. to irradiate pasteurized crabmeat," Cook says. "With our partner, we use gamma ray irradiation technology, which makes our product the safest pasteurized crabmeat in the market. It has also expanded its shelf-life, flavor and texture. It is completely revolutionary and probably one of the biggest processing changes in 30 years in this category. Ultimately, we don't want to reinvent the wheel, instead we are striving to make it better. Our competitors talk about safety, but we deliver it in every can."

Cook adds that it all circles back to the company's commitment to add value to its customers. "We are not just marketing a product line; we're evolving and trying to be problem-solvers and help our customers solve their daily issues," he explains. "That includes quality, expanding shelf-life, price points, sourcing a product and menu ideas. We are probably one of the most customer-centric and focused companies out there as we really partner with our customers and it goes beyond selling them a case - we help them sell more cases. 'Standard' is not in our vocabulary; it's about exceeding expectations and industry standards."
Working Together
"Argenis Contreras constantly says that our team and partners are our largest and most valuable assets," Cook notes, noting the company has built a team of highly creative free thinkers. "We have created a culture that allows and embraces innovation, diversity and creation," he says. "Our partners around the globe and in the U.S. are like-minded companies with solid core values and a commitment to quality. As an example, Shaw's Southern Belle is another family-owned company, which has been operating for over 80 years with a solid commitment to quality and safety, something that is imperative in our industry.

"Additionally, Gateway America is a significant piece to our product safety and quality," he continues. "Frank Benso and his team of highly professional and trained personnel have allowed us to offer some of the safest products in our industry, every day of every week."

Finally, Marketing partnerships with VEJ Holdings LLC/Former NFL Super star Bo Jackson are instrumental programs within Bonamar's sales and marketing departments. "To be teamed up with Bo is a great honor," Cook says. "His determination and commitment to making amazing things happen are inspirational."

To make it all possible Bonamar has 25 supplier relationships globally. They are all strategic partnerships, according to Cook, because the company is "very engaged" with its partners. "We have quality control and purchasing people in different countries working with our production partners," he says. "I think one of the things we do an outstanding job in is communicating and working with our partners. Our founder was a packer in Venezuela, so he truly understands the business from the ground up and came from that background. He's very passionate about working with those packers and, again, finding market solutions and working through challenges together."

Bonamar imports its products from Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Chile, Honduras, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, India and produces in the United States. To create Bonamar's value added line, the company has recently partnered with Fla.-based Shaw's Southern Belle. "They take our imported raw materials, like crabmeat and fin fish, and further process it," Cook says. "So we are supporting our local workforce as well."
Indian mangoes set to take Ozar markets by storm, 1st consignment dispatched; The Times of India  (May 10, 2017):
Irradiated Indian Mangoes from Kay Bee Exports have arrived in Australia.
PUNE: Aussies can look forward to savouring the Indian mangoes this season.The country's first consignment of mangoes to Australia has been dispatched. Before dispatch, the fruits were irradiated at the irradiation facility of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Lasalgaon in Nashik district. 
 
The first consignment of 1,224kg of mangoes of Kesar variety was exported on May 4 by the Mumbai-based firm Kay Bee Exports. The irradiated fruits were processed and packaged at Air Cargo Complex of Halcon at Ozar, before being dispatched to Australia from the Mumbai airport. Halcon is a joint venture company between the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the Container Corporation of India (Concor). An official from Halcon said the first consignment of mangoes was sent from Nashik to Mumbai airport by road and then by air to Australia on Thursday . This is for the first time that the mangoes have been exported to Australia after being processed at the irradiation centre here, said an official from Lasalgaon irradiation centre.

Kaushal Kakkad from Kay Bee Exports said, "We exported 408 boxes of mangoes of Kesar variety to Australia and each box contained around 3 kg mangoes. There is a small Indian community there, but Australian community prefers quality mangoes.Hence, there is good scope for Indian mangoes there. We are planning to export 100 tonnes during the current mango season, which will continue till June-end."

The country has already been exporting irradiated mangoes to the USA for the past few years and has now got access to the Australian market. However, it is mandatory to export irradiated mangoes, which can be processed only at Lasalgaon irradiation centre of BARC and another irradiation centre of Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) at Vashi.

In 2002, the BARC had set up the irradiation centre at Lasalgaon, which is also known as KrushakKrushi Utpadan Sanrakshan Kendra. The centre, which is located 70 km from Nashik city , was dedicated to the nation by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on October 31, 2002. This irradiation facility at Lasalgaon is commercially operated by the Vasai-based Agrosurg Irradiators India Pvt Ltd. 
Also in the News: Indian Mangoes Touch Down in Australia for First Time; ABC News (May 5, 2017):
Irradiated mangoes from India shown here in Sydney, Australia market
Revised protocols have opened the door for Indian imports, with fruit allowed into Australia as long as it has been treated with irradiation prior to export.

Perfection Fresh Australia (PFA) took delivery of the mangoes, all of which were the Kesar variety. "The first consignment, I've got to say, was a little disappointing," PFA chief executive Michael Simonetta said.

"The fruit had a little bit of blemish on the skin and wasn't as evenly coloured as we expected it to be, so we're in the process now of getting it to colour more evenly and then offer it for sale following that.

"The eating quality is quite nice. It's pleasant to eat. The feedback has been okay and the upside for me as a consumer is that it tastes better than the Mexican Keitt [mangoes] that are in the market as well at the moment."

Mr Simonetta said the mangoes would predominantly end up with independent retailers.
"We have shown them to the major supermarkets, but at the moment the volumes are far too light.

"This is a trial and it's yet to be concluded, so while I'm a little bit underwhelmed, it's too early to call."

Kesar mangoes from India exported by Kay Bee Exports have arrived in Australia
High expectations for the Alphonso mango

Mr Simonetta said the next consignment of Kesar mangoes was due to arrive in Perth next week and then imports of Alphonso mangoes would begin soon after. "The variety I'm really excited about, is in a few week's time we'll bring in the Alphonso mango which is known as the king of mango," he said.

"It's got a very high profile in India and across the world and I think the whole program of importation of mangoes from India will be judged on the success or otherwise of the Alphonso mango."

He said it was too early to tell how many tonnes would be exported to Australia this season. "My hope is that we can bring into the country a good tasting mango, which the Alphonso is, counter-seasonally to supplement the mango lovers' desire for fruit in the Australian off-season," he said.

"The trade will be judged fairly and squarely, wholly and solely by the Australian consumer. If the consumer tells us they like this mango and there is a need for it then we'll bring it in, if they tell us otherwise then we'll follow their lead."

Speaking to ABC Rural last month, Robert Gray from the Australian Mango Industry Association, said if the Indian mangoes met biosecurity standards they had no problems with the trade.

"Our position is that, as part of the global trade, if we want access to other countries around the world [to export Australian mangoes], then providing the protocol is safe and not bringing in any pests or diseases, then we're supportive of other countries having access into our market," he said.
Also in the News: Fruitful Irradiation: Increasing Fiji's Fruit & Vegetable Exports; PTI (April 20, 2017):
Experts from IAEA evaluate export opportunities using irradiation in Fiji
New Food Irradiation Facility Will Increase Exports:
Fiji is seeking to increase the exports of its fruits and vegetables to international markets, and has presented a proposal for an IAEA technical cooperation (TC) project to support food irradiation for the 2018-2019 cycle.  To support the preparation of this project, the IAEA carried out a pre-project assistance mission from 3 to 7 April. The goal was to assess the scope of the project and to collect necessary information from national authorities. The mission was composed of IAEA staff, an expert in radiation technologies, and a specialist in quality infrastructure and value chains provided by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Fiji's exports of fruit and vegetables are hindered by the presence of different species of fruit fly, which seriously affect the quality of Fijian export products such as okra, papaya, breadfruit, mango, eggplant and chili. To reduce the impact of insect pests, the country has been treating export products with High Temperature Forced Air (HTFA)1. Although an HTFA plant to treat fruit and vegetables was built in 1995 at Fiji's International Airport in Nadi, it has only provided a partial solution to the problem, as it cannot eliminate all the types of flies that affect Fiji's fruits and vegetables. To close the gap regarding safe fruit and vegetable exports, and in line with Fiji's Trade Policy Framework, the Government of Fiji government has decided to introduce irradiation to address the insect pest challenges facing the country's exports.

The goal of the Trade Policy Framework, to enhance the Fijian economy for the period 2015 - 2025, will be supported by making exported products safer through food irradiation. The government's vision of a "Better Fiji for all" under the new framework will therefore be reinforced.

New Irradiation Opportunities in South Africa;  FreshPlaza (April 18, 2017):

New irradiation opportunity for persimmons from South Africa 
CAPE TOWN: After a shortage of supply last year, imported persimmons from Israel saw a big bump in volume this past season. "The Israeli crop finished up two or three weeks ago and the crop was good," says Gary Tozzo of MOR USA Inc. "Volume was very high. It was a nice recovery year because the year before we had a lot of weather damage. It really reduced our volume here in the States as well as around the world." Tozzo notes that last year he brought in approximately 13 containers while this year he's had about 90.

Tozzo says demand for persimmons over the winter was decent. "Even in December when it's typically difficult because there's still domestic product in, we had good movement until the finish," he says. "We compete here during the Israeli season with California, which has already been planted when we start and they go until the middle of January. This year they were done with volume for the most part by the middle part of December and that helped us have decent movement in December." Pricing stayed equally steady throughout the season.

Irradiated Persimmons Destined to US Markets 
 
Turning to South Africa
For now, MOR USA is between seasons as it switches over to the crop currently being harvested in South Africa. It's expected here around May 15th. 

And while the harvest from South Africa looks good, Tozzo is looking forward to some developments on the importing front to get South African fruit to customers faster. "South African fruit is only allowed into the U.S. by irradiation so that's been a big hurdle," says Tozzo. To date, the company has worked with farther-flung irradiation plants located as far as the Midwest or the deep South. That makes it a challenge since MOR USA's market is primarily in the northeast. "So we haven't had a successful UScampaign of South African fruit yet because of the increased cost and time to treat the fruit," he says. Each year we refine it better, but it's still not cost-efficient for us."

New irradiation opportunity 
However, this year MOR USA is working with a New Jersey-based irradiation plant located approximately 40 miles away from the port. "This will save anywhere from seven to 14 days in treatment time," says Tozzo. "That should bring fresher product to the marketplace and now we can start marketing a better piece of fruit and get more people on board."

South Africa persimmon exports are good for South Africa; Irradiation is helping to make that happen. 

That includes customers in Canada. "The majority of fruit we've gotten from South Africa has typically gone to Canada in the summer months," says Tozzo. "It's a different marketing area but also a different season. That's tough to market because you're dealing with stone fruit, the berries, all sorts of fruits available at that time of year."

While Tozzo estimates the South African season going until the end of June, it may even head into early July. "But again, that's a tough time because there's so much fruit out there for consumers and buyers to use so we'll see," he adds.   
Also in the News: Indian mango exports reach record high; Nyooz (April 15, 2017):
Summary: According to the official, mango export to the United States is likely to touch a new high this year. VHT is necessary for exporting mangoes to Japan, South Korea, and Australia. Last year the Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) had set up its own irradiation centre in Vashi. So far, Maharashtra had only one irradiation centre in Lasalgoan in Nashik. The capacity of Vashi centre is more than Lasalgaon and it is likely to irradiate more mangoes in the current season.

India's mango exports reach record levels in 2017 
The Vashi irradiation facility has set an ambitious target of 500 tonnes of mango grading for the United States Indians settled in the United States (US) will not go without the succulent varieties of mangoes this season. The Vashi irradiation facility has become fully operational and this year and it has set an ambitious target of 500 tonnes of mango grading for the US only. Irradiation of mango is mandatory for exporting in the US cities. Last year the Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) had set up its own irradiation centre in Vashi. According to the official, mango export to the United States is likely to touch a new high this year.

"We have set around 25 per cent mango export to the US this year as the Vashi facility has become fully operational," Kishore Toshniwal, MD, MSAMB. However, this year, the total target of mango export is 2500 tonnes. The agriculture department of the US has set stringent norms for importing mangoes or any other fruits. In accordance with the US norms, irradiation of mangoes is mandatory before exporting it to the country. So far, Maharashtra had only one irradiation centre in Lasalgoan in Nashik.
Radurafoodirradiation.org is an excellent source of information on food irradiation.

Food Irradiation Update is published by Ronald F. Eustice and sent to you through the sponsorship of GRAY*STAR, Inc., the manufacturer of the Genesis Irradiator. 
 
 
Food irradiation is a cold pasteurization process that will do for meats, produce, and other foods what thermal pasteurization did for milk decades ago.
Ronald F. Eustice, Consultant
Phone: 612.202.1016
reustice@gmail.com 
 

 



 
 

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