Review paper Role of Irradiation in enhancing and ensuring microbiological safety of food.
Role of irradiation in reducing food spoilage by microorganisms.
Keywords:Keywords: Ionizing radiation, microbial inactivation, food preservation, shelf -life
As it is said that ‘if it isn’t safe , it isn’t food’. Consumer around the world expect that ,the food they eat must be safe. With changing lifestyle and eating habits , demands of food with high nutritional value and with minimal preparation times i.e. RTE food products have been increased. Also, there is an increasing trend observed in many countries to centrally prepare and process fresh fruits and vegetables ,properly packaged them for distribution and marketing .In order to provide safe ,nutritionally rich and minimally processed food, the food manufacturers are looking for new and improved method of food preservations and food irradiation is one of such process which can be used for ensuring and enhancing food safety. Food irradiation is a process involving exposing food and agricultural commodities in pre-packed form to a specific dose of ionizing radiation inside a biologically shielded irradiation chamber .For irradiation of food; Gamma rays, X-rays and electron beams are used. Food irradiation is one of the non thermal method which can improve safety and extend shelf life of the food`
One of the important attributes of food irradiation is its destruction power against microorganisms as ionizing radiations kills microbes directly by damaging biomolecules of their cells. Gram negative pathogenic bacteria are very sensitive to irradiation .Yeast are more radio-resistant than bacteria and moulds .For inactivation of viruses, ionizing radiations must be combined with other treatments. The destruction of microorganism by irradiation is affected by many factors such as nature of processing,water activity of food ,freezing, nature and physical state of food etc. In food industry, the irradiation method are used for ensuring microbiologically safety of many food products such as minimal processed food products including blanched vegetable and fresh cut vegetables ,pre-packed chilled products ,seeds and sprouts ,meat and meat products and spices.
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