Food Irradiation



In Pakistan, a private-sector company initiated commercial food irradiation in 2010. A total of 940 tons of legumes, spices, and fruits were processed in that year. In 2011, permission was given for the development of three new food irradiation facilities, and the export of irradiated mango was started. Pakistan is in the process of working out details for export of irradiated mangoes to the USA. Irradiation of mangoes is a mandatory intervention to meet USDA/APHIS phytosanitary requirements.

In 2015, the government of Pakistan announced plans to construct an e-beam irradiation facility near Karachi. Al-Technique Corporation of Pakistan (ATCOP) and Marine Group of Companies (MGC) have entered into a joint venture agreement to establish first ever E-Beam facility at Karachi for irradiation of food items, surgical instruments and gemstones etc. This state of the art facility will enhance exports of fresh fruits and vegetables through decontamination and extension of their shelf lives.The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) has been working for the scaled-up application of food irradiation technology. Consumer acceptability of irradiated products was addressed through promotional marketing and the dissemination of information to the public. Link to article here.

A program involving different age and professional groups was carried out. About 8 tons of irradiated potatoes and onions were successfully test marketed through normal trading channels. The PAEC’s commercial irradiation facility, Pakistan Radiation Services (PARAS)in Lahore, which has been in operation for about 10 years, has been irradiating spices for commercial purposes. Pakistan has adopted the harmonized standards for the authorization of irradiation by classes/groups of foods as proposed by ICGFI and by the workshop on the Harmonization of Food Irradiation Regulations in Asia and the Pacific held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in April 1998. Interest in the commercial application of irradiation technology has increased since the approval of harmonized standards in 1996. The Pakistan Storage and Supply Corporation (PASCO), which is responsible for the bulk storage of food commodities to maintain a uniform supply in the market, has shown an interest in the technology. PAEC is considering to establish more multipurpose or commercial irradiation plants under the government or under joint venture agreements with the private sector.

Source: IAEA-TECDOC-1219 Consumer acceptance and market development of irradiated food in Asia and the Pacific.

mango spice leg
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