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Recent developments in food irradiation?

  1. Sep 20, 2005 #1
    I am find it amazing that removing some electrons from foods can preserve the food for a longer period of time. So I am just curious about some of the recent developments in food irradiation.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2005 #2
    Food irradiation doesn't preserve food. It just kills any microorganisms (bacteria, germs, etc) that are present on the food and cause it to spoil. There really haven't been too many developments in food irradiation. Food is placed on a conveyor belt and run through the irradiator where it is exposed to either x-rays or gamma rays from a Co-60 source.
  4. Sep 20, 2005 #3
    From what I understand, Is, the Gamma Radiation destroys Genetic code of a tissue that is exposed to it, Not only the bacteria but also trace amounts of the genetics in the food are also altered, I don't know if this is harmful, but it doesn't seemed to be since I have eaten radiated chicken for years.

    You can setup a test.

    build yourself a breadbox with a UUV light bulb installed inside it.

    Place a piece of fruit in the breadbox with the UUV light inside.
    Place an identical piece of fruit outside the box for a controlled experiment that isn't influenced by the UUV light.

    Which one of the fruits will decay fastest?

    Try this with more breadboxes with different light bulbs of various light frequencies, Infrared, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, UUV with close proximity of a pure frequency range.

    It would be a nice experiement to conduct for a school project and find the results in a controlled enviroment. :smile:
  5. Sep 20, 2005 #4


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    Science Advisor


    The gamma radiation may break down some of the tissues - but so will your digestive system.

    After all - when you eat a hamburger - the proteins in the meat are cow proteins.

    Those proteins will be broken down to their amino acid building blocks, which is what
    you absorb. Your body, under the direction of your DNA; uses those amino acid building
    blocks to assemble into human proteins.

    Dr. Gregory Greenman
  6. Sep 30, 2005 #5
    I have read in books that e-beam machines are used to bombard food with high energy electrons. This by itself destroys the microorganisms but when the electrons hit a heavy metal, it declerates thereby emitting x rays. This x ray also kills microoragnisms. So you could do these things at the same time with one machine or would you separate those two methods?
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