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Literature review, analytical screening and chemical migration studies on irradiated food packaging
Project Code: A03068
Food and Environment Research Agency, Sand Hutton, York YO41 1LZ
Driffield, M ; Castle, L; Bradley, E
Food irradiation is a processing technique that exposes foods to high-energy ionizing radiation. This is carried out to:
(i) Prolong shelf life of seafood, poultry and herbs and spices, by preventing food borne disease such as salmonella, campylobacter and E. Coli, often without changing the flavour or aroma of the foodstuff.
(ii) Delay ripening and ageing in fruit and vegetables.
(iii) Stop vegetables such as onions, potatoes and garlic, from germinating and sprouting.
(iv) Disinfect grain, dried fruit, nuts and vegetables by killing invading insects.
(v) Improve re-hydration of foodstuffs.
Irradiation of food contact materials may be carried out as a part of the production process, after production as a part of a sterilisation process, or the packaged food itself may be irradiated, meaning that the food makes contact with the packaging during irradiation. The effects on the food packaging, as well as the food, must be considered when evaluating the safety of irradiated foods.
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