Food Irradiation Updates

Published by Ronald F. Eustice on behalf of the Food Irradiation Processing Alliance (FIPA) and the International Irradiation Association (iiA).
October  2012
From the Editor's Desk:
After 22 years as Executive Director of the Minnesota Beef Council, I have retired on October 1, 2012.

During the next phase of my career, I will continue my work as a food safety consultant and focus my efforts on the many benefits of food irradiation.  Publishing of Food Irradiation Update will be one of several activities.

The use of irradiation continues to expand especially in the area of phytosanitary control of harmful insects. New food irradiation facilities are being constructed at several locations including Gulfport, Mississippi and Honolulu, Hawaii. In fact, the Pa'ina Hawaii facility is operational and currently going though internal training, and dosimetery training and preparing for APHIS certification.

I am also available as a speaker at conferences and as a classroom lecturer. In the future I can be contacted at the e-mail address below. I will be pleased to assist you in any way possible. 
Ronald F. Eustice 
USDA/APHIS Allows Irradiation Treatment of Indian Mangoes on Arrival in USA
US Government Agencies Helping Exporters Comply With Health & Safety Requirements
Food Irradiation: Playing in the World Game
Irradiation and Hormone Treatment of Fruit Flies Means Better Pest Control
Gamma Irradiation of in-Shell and Blanched Peanuts Protects against Mycotoxic Fungi and Retains The Neutraceutical Components
Hawaii success story in phytosanitary irradiation due to researcher-industry-regulator partnership
USDA/APHIS Allows Irradiation Treatment of Indian Mangoes on Arrival in USA; Federal Register (September 21, 2012): 

In a final rule by the USDA/APHIS that was published in the Federal Register on July 20, 2012, and effective on August 20, 2012, phytosanitary treatment regulations were amended to, among other things, allow for irradiation treatment of mangoes from India upon arrival in the mainland United States rather than just at the point of origin. In the final rule, USDA neglected to amend the inspection requirements to address shipments that are treated upon arrival in the United States and not at the point of origin. Read more here.... Other information on this topic...

US Government Agencies Helping Exporters Comply With Health & Safety Requirements; GMA News; (September 9, 2012): 

PUNE: India is preparing to export irradiated mangoes to Australia, four years after being granted market access, in a move that traders believe could revive faltering overseas sales that have declined 30% in the last three years.

Ranked first in the world in mango production, Indian exports are not significant. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has been trying to develop overseas market for Indian mangoes. The United States opened its market for Indian mangoes five years ago. The US has one of the strictest hygiene norms and the mangoes have to be treated at the irradiation facility.
Read more here...  

Food Irradiation: Playing in the World Game; Blog by the Old Wolf (September 7, 2012):

I've long had in my library a September 1958 National Geographic entitled "You and the Obedient Atom." It's an intriguing look at the scientific applications of nuclear radiation, and one of these has always intrigued me.

"Irradiated Foods Stay Germ-free as Others Rot:

Using gamma rays to destroy micro-organisms that cause decay, the Army Quartermaster Corps preserves foods for weeks and months at room temperatures. When exposures are light, changes in taste are scarcely noticeable; gamma radiation does not linger.

Read more here.... 

Irradiation and Hormone Treatment of Fruit Flies Means Better Improved Pest Control;USDA/APHIS Newsletter (September 4, 2012).

A new treatment developed by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and cooperating scientists makes sterile male Mexican fruit flies more macho so they will out compete wild males to mate with female Mexican fruit flies.
The program involves sterilizing male fruit flies with irradiation and releasing them into nature to mate with the wild female fruit flies. These matings produce eggs that don't hatch. Eventually, the population collapses, explains the team leader of the ARS Chemistry Research Unit in Gainesville, Florida.
Read more here..... Additional information on this topic... 

Gamma Irradiation of Peanuts Protects against Fungi and Retains Nutraceutical Components during Long-Term Storage; Department of Agri-Food Industry, "Luiz de Queiroz" College of Agriculture (ESALQ/USP), University of São Paulo (Sept.1, 2012):

Abstract: Peanut samples were irradiated (0.0, 5.2, 7.2 or 10.0 kGy), stored for a year (room temperature) and examined every three months. Mycotoxic fungi (MF) were detected in non-irradiated blanched peanuts. A dose of 5.2 kGy was found suitable to prevent MF growth in blanched samples. No MF was detected in in-shell peanuts, with or without irradiation. The colors of the control in-shell and blanched samples were, respectively, 44.72 and 60.21 (L *); 25.20 and 20.38 (Chroma); 53.05 and 86.46 (°Hue). The water activities (Aw) were 0.673 and 0.425. The corresponding fatty acids were 13.33% and 12.14% (C16:0), 44.94% and 44.92% (C18:1, ω9) and 37.10% and 37.63% (C18:2, ω6). The total phenolics (TP) were 4.62 and 2.52 mg GAE/g, with antioxidant activities (AA) of 16.97 and 10.36 μmol TEAC/g. Storage time negatively correlated with Aw (in-shell peanuts) or L *, linoleic acid, TP and AA (in-shell and blanched peanuts) but positively correlated with Aw (blanched peanuts), and with oleic acid (in-shell and blanched peanuts). Irradiation positively correlated with antioxidant activity (blanched peanuts). No correlation was found between irradiation and AA (in-shell samples) or fatty acids and TP (in-shell and blanched peanuts). Irradiation protected against MF and retained both the

 Read more here..... 
Hawaii success story in phytosanitary irradiation due to researcher-industry-regulator partnership; (May 15, 2012):

HONOLULU: Hawaii is a pioneer in the use of phytosanitary irradiation. Irradiation is an approved treatment to control quarantine insect pests in 17 fruits and 7 vegetables for export from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland. Since 2000, the commercial x-ray irradiation facility, Hawaii Pride LLC,on the Big Island has been shipping tropical fruits and vegetables such as papaya, mango, banana, dragon fruit, lychee, longan, rambutan and sweet potato to the U.S. mainland using irradiation. Hawaiian purple sweet potato is the highest volume product with annual exports of more than 12 million lbs (5,500 tonnes). A second commercial irradiator, Pa'ina Hawaii, is operating on the island of Oahu near Honolulu, and will facilitate treatment and export of an even wider variety of agricultural produce from the islands. The Pa'ina facility is operational and the staff are currently going though their internal training including dosimetery and preparing for APHIS certification.
The advent of generic radiation treatments for tephritid fruit flies (150
Gy) and other insects (400 Gy), developed by and first used in Hawaii, has accelerated commodity export approvals and facilitated adoption by foreign trading partners. India, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico and South Africa have followed Hawaii's lead and are exporting fruit to the U.S. using irradiation, and Australia is exporting irradiated fruit to New Zealand. Current impediments to wider adoption include the labelling requirement, the 1 kGy limit for fresh horticultural products, and non-acceptance of phytosanitary irradiation in Japan and the European Union. At the center of the Hawaii success story is a model partnership between researchers, industry and regulators.
Read more here...

"Phytosanitary irradiation of fresh tropical commodities in Hawaii: Generic treatments, commercial adoption, and current issues", Peter Follett and Eric Weinert 

Radiation Physics and Chemistry 81(8): 1064-1067.
Food Irradiation Update is being sent as an update on food irradiation by Ronald F. Eustice on behalf of the Food Irradiation Processing Alliance (FIPA) and the International Irradiation Association (iiA).. 
Ronald F. Eustice
13768 Trost Trail
Savage, MN 55378-181 USA

For more information on food irradiation visit
Remember: Food irradiation is a cold pasteurization process that will do for ground meats, produce, and other foods what thermal pasteurization did for milk decades ago.
Ronald F.  Eustice
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 Principles and Applications
is an excellent source of information about food irradiation. For information go to:
Food Irradiation: Principles & Applications
FOOD IRRADIATION: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS is an excellent source of information on food irradiation.FOOD IRRADIATION: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS




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