Review: Food irradiation.—General aspects

E. Sendra, M. Capellas, B. Guamis, X. Felipe, M. Mor-Mur, R. Pla

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Irradiation has been proposed for disinfestation, inhibition of sprouting, destruction of parasites in meat and fish, to delay maturation of fruit and pasteurization and sterilization. In some applications it could replace or supplement chemical preservatives; in other cases it may have unique advantages (dry or frozen foods). Generalizations about effects of irradiation may be misleading if the dose and commodities are not specified. Radioactivity cannot be induced in foods by treatment with approved sources. Toxicological and nutritional evaluation has confirmed the safety of irradiated foods at doses below 10 KGy. Food irradiation is limited by organoleptical changes; irradiation in the absence of oxygen and at the frozen state could reduce undesirable changes. Food irradiation is not a panacea for all food preservation; it cannot replace proper food sanitation, packaging, storage and preparation. The public and political debate of whether or not irradiation of foods should be permitted in the European Community has become a confused dialogue about the real consequences of food irradiation. Owing to the timeliness of the question, it is important to present and discuss the results of this research. © 1996, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    JournalFood Science and Technology International
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


    • food hygiene
    • food irradiation
    • food preservation


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