An Epic Future in Cold PasteurizationThe preservation of food is essential to maintain life and growth. Its daily intakes nourish our bodies, providing enzymes, in turn giving us energy. The ability of matter exerts radiation in its domain by means of energy in selected foods. Such rationale debates whether a development of technology creates an effective way to reduce the incidence of foodborne diseases, while treating a variety of potential problems in our food supply. An effective method of research in food irradiation illustrates substantial evidence in its safety, nutritional adequacy, and social-economic global effects.
Irradiation is capable of improving the safety and quality of many foods. It is the process that emits high-energy rays passing through [food] products, virtually killing all harmful bacteria and parasites in or on the food (OCA, 1998).
Yet, the food remains raw and undergoes only minor chemical changes. Foods are treated with ionizing radiation to accomplish many different goals, one being the delivery of raw meats and sprouts. There is no guarantee that raw ground beef or sprouts will be free of certain harmful bacteria. These foods provide a favourable environment for bacterial growth, whereas, the production process does not include a step to reduce these bacteria, such as cooking or pasteurization. For these foods, irradiation provides a bacteria-killing step. However, one association disagrees the issue and claims that irradiation only covers up problems that the meat and poultry industry should solve, increasing the fecal contamination that results from speeded up slaughter and decreased federal inspection. Irradiation is a ‘magic bullet’ that will enable [the company] to say that the product was ‘clean’ when it left the packing plant (OCA, 2001).
... daily diets. In countries where food irradiation is permitted, both the sources of radiation and their energy levels are regulated and ... more careless about sanitation in food production facilities. Irradiation does not kill all the bacteria in a food and in a just ... they could be eaten raw). Baked goods and dried legumes do not need irradiation. The advantages to food irradiation cannot be far ...
The claim, more rather, lacks the key source in evidence, for even the best sanitation and standard antibacterial treatments cannot ensure safety in foods. In addition, irradiation cannot occur properly if the food is too heavily contaminated, preventing industries from using this practice as a substitution for good sanitation practices. Irradiation is not harmful in producing resistant strains of bacteria, nor does it make food radioactive. It simply reduces the amounts of bacteria in foods that may become potential illnesses in humans. Accordingly, food irradiation advocates 40 years of research showing the process to be safe, however, evidence for this assertion is missing. An article in the Nation’s Restaurant News states that detractors of irradiation paint the process as a potential health risk that has not been studied sufficiently (Liddle, 2001, p 60, 3p, 4c).
In 1981, the Food and Drug Administration formed The Bureau of Foods Irradiated Foods Task Group, which reviewed all available toxicological data concerning irradiated foods. The chairman, Marcia van Gemert, cautioned in 1982 that studies of sufficiently high quality to support the safety of irradiated foods treated at high irradiation doses for long-term use are not available (OCA, 1998).
As far as safety is concerned, there is no reason to worry. Past statements made about irradiation making food radioactive or cause major chemical changes are falsely stated. Besides, we think nothing of going through scanners at airports, nor do we ask the cashier not to scan our groceries at a supermarket. Meanwhile, one should be reminded not to be careless in preparing a product solely because it is irradiated. There is still the potential of contamination by bacteria due to improper handling on the consumer’s part (Talley, AEA, 2001).
Food irradiation has the longest history, more than 40 years, of scientific research and testing of any food technology before approval. Research has been comprehensive, and has included wholesomeness, toxicological, and microbiological evaluation. Worldwide, 38 countries permit irradiation of food, and more than 28 billion lb of food is irradiated annually in Europe. It is important to note that ...
This new phenomenon has been developed and proven effective in reducing food-borne hazards and ensures that harmful organisms are not in the foods we buy (Talley, 2001).
The dietary factors of irradiation promote a greater controversial debate whether it changes the nutritional value and quality of food. It is known that the nutritive values of the macronutrients in one’s diet, such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, are not significantly altered by irradiation. Not all vitamin loss is significant in a particular food. At low doses, this is often minimal and less than that from thermal processing of food. Generally, the nutrient retention in irradiated foods is similar to the retention utilizing other food preservation techniques (Tauxe, 2001, p 516; 6p).
In an April 2002 report, the OCA state that irradiation damages food by breaking up molecules and creating “free radicals”, killing some bacteria, but not all (OCA, 2002).
Hence, the process of irradiation does not sterilize [killing] all bacteria in a food. It has no effect at all on trace elements and minerals, such as calcium, iron, and potassium. Furthermore, the FDA must carefully consider any vitamin loss after a product has been irradiated and its effects on one’s total diet as a result of such vitamin loss. Therefore, it is assured that a product is approved before consumers are exposed to such that would not have a significant impact. Likewise, many foods cannot be irradiated using electron beams, such as a grocery store scanner. E-beams only penetrate 1-1.5 inches on each side, and are suitable only for flat, evenly sized foods like patties (Choice, 1999, p 8; 4p, 4c).
Therefore, there is no connotation that such low penetration effects, affect the outcome of the food. Fruits, foods in boxes, and irregularly shaped foods are irradiated using x-rays or gamma rays, improving the safety of food through the reduction of pathogenic bacteria and other micro-organisms and parasites that cause foodborne diseases (OCA, 2001).
Exposure of corn plants to ionizing radiation such as gamma radiation can induce mutation. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of varying levels of gamma radiation on growth parameters of Zea mays L. Ten seeds for each level of gamma radiation (0 krad, 10 krad, 30 krad and 50 krad) were planted and tested for the number of germinating seeds and plant height, using a meter stick ...
Irradiation also inactivates food spoilage organisms, including bacteria, molds, and yeast. In fact, the grocers are amazed by its effectiveness in lengthening the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables by decreasing the normal biological changes associated with growth and maturation processes, such as ripening or sprouting. Primarily, irradiation may produce “free radicals”, unstable atoms that react with other atoms to produce minor chemical changes in the treated food (OCA, 2001).
The end result of these reactions is tiny amounts of certain chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide, which already naturally exist in the food supply or formed when cooked. These “radiolytic products are known chemicals” (Mokhiber, 2000, p30; 2/5p) and are produced in such small amounts that “they do not pose a health hazard” (Tauxe, 2001, p518; 1p).
The chemical changes that occur in irradiated foods are several orders of magnitude less than heat treatment for a comparable effect. Ionizing radiation is not the same as television beams or microwaves. Irradiation of food does not lead to nutrient losses to an extent that there is an adverse effect on the nutritional status of the individuals consuming these foods.
Food irradiation provides another level of safety for the consumer and the environment. Statistics prove that irradiation has a record of more than 30 years of safe use in the United States (Morehouse, 1998, p9; 2p).
Irradiation plants are designed with several layers of protection to safeguard workers from exposure. In comparison, a plant using cobalt-60, a gamma ray source, when not in use, is lowered into a pool of water, which traps the radiation (Morehouse, 1998).
Since irradiation plants are not nuclear reactors and cannot have a meltdown, electron-beam facilities do not have environmental effects, nor does any radioactivity releases into the environment; thus plants produce no radioactive waste. “More than 40 years of research suggests that the chemical by-products of radiation are mostly the same as by-products of conventional cooking or other preservation methods”(Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2000).
The health effect of a life-long diet of irradiated foods is unknown. According to the Organic Consumers Association, the longest human feeding study was 15 weeks, in China and only a small study from India on malnourished children showed health effects (OCA, 2001).
The Importance of Food Labeling It’s Important that food producers label foods so that people can choose to avoid irradiated or genetically modified food. Also, food labeling is crucial to people with certain food allergies. Some foods are irradiated to clear foods of food-borne diseases and provide support for unsafe factory farming practices. When food is genetically modified the food is ...
Both studies resulted in inconclusive proofs. With this in mind, irradiation is legal in at least 35 countries, including Russia, South Africa, Belgium, France, Norway, and Canada. Since 2000, OCA statistics show that companies in the U.S. that produce over 75% of the 9 billion pounds per year of ground beef and approximately 50% of nearly 35 billion pounds per year of poultry have signed agreements to use irradiation. In Canada, food irradiation has been regulated for more than 30 years (CMAJ, 2000, p5; 1p).
Health Canada follows the Codex Alimentarius Commission, of which it is a member, accepting in principle the statement that foods irradiated below 10 kGy present no toxicological hazard. Moreover, Brazil’s irradiation policy allows any dose for any food. Although the country is a major exporter of both meat and produce, they must limit its irradiation doses to the permitted dose in the various countries it delivers its exportations. Free-market economists say irradiation is “efficient” and provides the cheapest possible food for the least possible risk.
The existing scientific research does not prove that a diet of irradiated foods harm human health. Similarly, it is established that the new technology of irradiation sustains future development in our economic, environmental global spectrum. It affects the feed of every individual, encouraging a more positive and efficient process in managing food, preventing foodborne diseases, and eating healthy. Subsequently, the means of food preservation promotes better lifestyles and advances in future research. Can one advocate such inadequate developments to the importance and betterment of human health? ReferencesCMAJ; Canadian Medical Association Journal, (2000); Vol. 162 Food irradiation: Let’s do it. ; Food contamination – Canada; Governmental investigations Canada in Issue 1, p5, 2/3p.Choice (Australian), (1999).Future food: At a supermarket near you?; Food industry & Trade – Technological innovations; IRRADIATION – evaluation in p8, 4p, 4c.Hennessy, T (1999); Vol. 78Radiation preservation of food – Government policy – United States; Food & Drug Administration; PUBLIC opinion in Issue 3, p83, 5p, 2c.Liddle, Alan J. (2002); Vol. 36 Nation’s Restaurant News; Vol 36Food – Safety measures; RADIATION preservation of food in Issue 20, p60, 3p, 4c.Mokhiber, R. (2000); Vol. 21; Multinational MonitorFOOD; INTERNATIONAL Consultative Group on Food Irradiation; Food supply in Issue 12, p30, 2/5pMorehouse, Kim M, Ph.D.(1998); Vol. 4Food Irradiation: The treatment of foods with ionizing radiation; U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in Issue 3, p9, 32, 35.The Organic Consumers Association; C.C. (2001) (1999) (1998); Little Marais, MN – September 2002; www.organicconsumers.orgReferences (con’t)Tauxe, Robert V. (2001); Vol. 7; Emerging Infectious Diseases Food handling; Irradiation bacteria in Issue 3, p516, 6p.
The past score of years has witnessed the astonishing revolution in the scope of plant breeding technologies. The biological technologies have regularly been utilized to create new gene combinations for progressing crop diversities. This intentionally modified by the manipulation of the DNA, and transformation of certain genes to create new variations of life, which called genetically modified ( ...