Food Irradiation Updates

Published by Ronald F. Eustice and sponsored  by GRAY*STAR Inc.
October  2017
Featured Article: Florida crab supplier Bonamar moves westward with new partnership: (September 26, 2017) UnderCurrent News
Irradiation is being used by Florida-based Bonamar to extend crabmeat shelf life.
Florida crab importer Bonamar has entered into a new distribution partnership with Fullerton, California's International Pacific Seafood (IPS) which will strengthen its reach into the western US.
An executive at Bonamar, a major importer, distributor and seller of blue and red swimming crab meat from Asia as well as fresh crab from Venezuela, said that while the company has always had national distribution, this move will deepen its presence in the west.
Alex Cook, the company's vice president of sales told Undercurrent News that the recently inked agreement is not a merger, but a partnership.
"This will help us both become stronger," he said.
Bonamar imports most of crabmeat into Gulfport, Mississippi, where it is irradiated with gamma irradiation for extended food safety and sent to the company's warehouses in New Jersey; Texas; Los Angeles, California; and Miami. 
IPS imports, processes and sells seafood, primarily to foodservice customers, the release states. 
The partnership's biggest benefit to IPS customers, Cook said, is that they will see freight and warehousing costs cut and will no longer face minimum orders when buying Bonamar products, he said. 
In addition to the new agreement, Bonamar has "realigned" its national sales team in tune with the westward focus. Jeana Daily will take over as the company's vice president of national accounts, Keith Laudieri as sales director in the west and Mark Prater will also join the western team, the company said. 
Bonamar has been expanding as of late, adding a $7.5 million distribution and processing center in Medley, Florida in 2016. The new facility, which totals 30,000-square-feet, will allow the company to expand its regional, national and international distribution networks.
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MYTH of the MONTH: "Talk is Cheap." By Russell Stein
The next time you are at a conference or forum discussing any aspect of food irradiation, look around and count the number of attendees.  Most likely, during the meeting, there are more people sitting in that room than there are people actively irradiating food in the whole country where the meeting is taking place.
We talk about what we might irradiate in the future.  Why don't we talk about what we are irradiating and can irradiate right now?  Today?  Tomorrow?  Next Tuesday? Right now, food is being irradiated for various purposes around the world.  ...perhaps only a short distance away from where you are reading this.  
If you want something irradiated, send it to a commercial service irradiation facility.  If you want a lot of something irradiated, consider purchasing an irradiator yourself.  Both options exist.  Right Now! For many food products, utilizing various irradiation processes, the commercial path is clear.
Often the discussions are about researching new processes using irradiation.  Research is the first step for new applications of irradiation technology.  Research can, and must, be continued.  However, we should also be taking advantage of past research that has already cleared the path to commercialization.
Similarly we need ongoing discussions with government regulators to assure that foods currently being irradiated are compliant.  And, and we must encourage government officials to move forward with approvals for more food products and processes that have been determined safe.  Government oversight must be continued to keep the commercial path clear and credible.
Sometimes there are discussions involving the actual experiences of people having their products irradiated or the experiences of the people irradiating the product.  These are valuable because they provide a map of the path to commercialization.  Unfortunately, these discussions are rare because too often those with the knowledge are too busy irradiating actual product to attend the meeting and their comments are often restricted for proprietary reasons
Good path.  Good discussions.  But wait, there's more!  The "more" is the greatest hurdle in the path to commercialization. Commercial irradiation processing already exists.  There is more discussion on "new and improved" irradiation technologies than discussions on commercialized technology.  Although there will always be improvements with any commercial process, spending all of our time, money and effort on the "future" will not accomplish anything in the present. Too many projects, to commercialize food irradiation, have failed to even begin because they were waiting on an unproven, "new technology".  If these projects had utilized existing technology and existing resources, more foods would currently be irradiated.    
The more we talk, the less food we irradiate.  Words do not kill pathogens, irradiation does. Talk is expensive.
Link to Article ...
Russell Stein 
Hotel Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao, Bangkok, Thailand
June 13-15, 2018
Organized in cooperation with the USDA, the International Irradiation Association (iia), the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT) and the Joint programme of the FAO/IAEA, the objective of this Phytosanitary Irradiation forum is to increase understanding of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment to enhance global trade, to prevent invasive pests and to foster dialogue.
Registration will be available in October at
Dr. Anuradha Prakash,
Yves Henon,
Carl Blackburn,

Tanzania is the latest of a growing number of countries looking at irradiation as a tool to reduce post-harvest food losses
DAR ES SALAM: The Feasibility Report (FR) presents the considerations to be undertaken in the establishment of sustainable commercial viable multipurpose irradiation facility in Tanzania. 
The report describes in details the rationale for consideration of irradiation facility and the benefits of the technology for socio- economic development in Tanzania. The report defines the details of irradiation technology, products marketing, economics, financial and consumer acceptance analysis and hence ascertain the current and future regulatory framework for radiation processing for food and products and the appropriate regulations applicable to both the food and other products. It is expected that the adoption of this technology and the anticipated regulatory standards will be beneficiary to the country in adding value of our products and extending their quality for both internal and external market. 
The project team performed needs analysis and benchmarking of the current situation in the need for irradiation technology in order to justify and define action plan for sustainable utilization of the technology. This considered immediately needs, future needs and unknown needs that may be accommodated in the future. The study looked at the long-term viability of the overall business model for irradiation facility and relied heavily on tools like scenario planning to ensure long-term success. Project team needed to discover whether the technology and business model actually offers enough profit potential to make the initiative worthwhile. Likewise, examined whether the irradiation products or service will requires such a significant inputs as to make it untenable within a business. The study performed economic analysis of scenarios based on technology analysis and technical uncertainties on economic benefits of the technology. The feasibility study information is needed for confident decision-making regarding the profitability and technical/financial/social/ environmental viability of a commercial irradiation facility in Tanzania as no single piece of data holds the answer to market demand. In fact, there a need to use a substantial amount of subjective professional judgment to weigh the different details.  Synthesis involved answering six basic questions: What are the indirect economic constraints, What is the size of the future market and what percentage of the overall market can be attracted to the proposed irradiation products, what is the market-determined price range, what type of facility is justified by market demand, how large should the units be, what amenities should be provided? Commercial feasibility was to determine whether the project should go ahead or not, which is essentially be based on a market study.  Market studies remained the most important element in the decision process for those who have to finance the project. This study implementation was preceded by a stage of active experimentation on local products and an information campaign directed at potential promoters and consumers. 
While the benefits of irradiation is evident, misunderstanding and negative consumer perception and has led some experts to argue that the commercialization of irradiated food is more affected by food retailers fearing adverse public reaction than by the actual reaction of customers. Internationally, radiation treatment of agricultural produce has been approved technically and is in application. In Tanzania, and most of the supermarkets are loaded with a lot of imported fruits and vegetables which for sure they could only cross our borders after the shelf life of these agricultural produce been increase significantly. 
After many years of research and the development of domestic and international standards, more than 60 countries worldwide have regulations allowing the use of irradiation for one or more food products. The technology has been well developed, with doses for most of the products established. The wholesomeness and nutritional adequacy of irradiated food has been well established. The technology is endorsed by the World Health Organization, Food & Agriculture Organization, Codex Alimentarius, World Trade Organization. It is also approved by the international and national regulatory authorities and several reputed professional bodies who have endorsed the utility, safety and benefits of radiation processing of food.
For more information contact Simon Mode at
Vietnam Mangoes cleared for US market USA (October 3, 2017) :
Irradiated mangoes from Vietnam will soon be on US grocery store shelves.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has paved the way for imports of Vietnamese mangoes.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) posted a proposed rule allowing the imports Aug. 4 in the Federal Register.

Pending the completion of a comment period Oct. 3, the agency will decide whether to issue a final rule.

Following a request from Vietnam’s national plant protection organization, APHIS conducted a pest risk assessment and risk management document on the feasibility of mango imports.
The agency concluded that fruit can be imported if it undergoes a systems approach that includes orchard requirements, irradiation treatment and port of entry inspection.
In addition, fruit can only be imported in commercial consignments, and it must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of Vietnam.
Vietnam expects to export about 3,000 metric tons of mangoes to the U.S. annually, less than 1% of all mangoes exported to the U.S.
Darwin, Australia Mangoes Reach USA (October 6, 2017) :
Ian Quinn and Saramat (Tou) Ruckaew of Tou's Garden 
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA: For the first time a Darwin farmer is sending mangoes to the United States with 720 trays set to leave the USA
Over the past two years mangoes have left the Katherine region for the US as part of a three year trial, but this year Acacia Hills farmer Ian Quinn jumped on board. 

He says his mangoes from Tou's Garden will be the first Top End mangoes exported to the US this season. is an excellent source of information on food irradiation.

Food Irradiation Update is published by Ronald Eustice.  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





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