Irradiation Of Foods Dangers & Preservating: Pros & Cons

Irradiation of foods & preservating is a new concept of preserving foods, it involves using radiation. This article discusses the professional view of food irradaition.

Food irradiation is done on a constant basis, food growers and sellers say that food irradiation is safe and is a great means of extending the shelf life of fresh foods. The benefits are high according to food sellers; irradiation kills disease-causing organisms. It also increases the safety of foods for people with a low immunity system. In promotes longer life of vegetables in stores, it also prevents the vegetables from sprouting. It is also beneficial for grains; it kills or sterilizes insects that can be found in grains. It also allows fruits to be picked early and delays the ripening of the fruit until it gets to the supermarkets.

Irradiation is the process of exposing fresh foods to low amounts of x-rays to sterilize and prolong its life. Food suppliers say that it is safe and does not make foods radioactive. But the general public has problems with this observation, the general public believes that any radiation exposure holds a threat of a health hazard. They also believe that consuming these x-rayed foods on a daily basis will pose a threat of developing mutant organisms within the body.

There are government regulations in place that insure the use of certain irradiation processes. The process of x-ray irradiation is allowed, because x-rays travel through an object without leaving radioactive material behind. Food may be irradiated by exposure to cobalt and cesium isotopes these methods are considered cold sterilization. There is an exception to meats, x-ray is still allowed but it takes higher doses of radiation to kill the parasites, salmonella bacteria, and other organisms. There is a warning, meats that are irradiated by radiation are darker, fish and seafood become mushy, and irradiation of grains destroy the fats found in grains and make them taste sour.

In government studies it shows that x-ray irradiation does preserve nutrients such as niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. But other studies show the x-ray irradiation destroys the vitamins that promote fat digestion such as vitamins A, E, and K. There is a controversy going on about the Vitamin C, some studies show that x-ray irradiation does no harm to vitamin C, while other studies show that it destroys almost eighty-five percent of vitamin C found in vegetables, meats and fruits.

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