Thursday, September 8, 2016

Irradiation sterilization

Irradiation or ionizing radiation is a type of ‘cold’ sterilization, where the piece being sterilized is not exposed to heat. However, due to the poor heat transfer properties of many types of products, small increases in temperature above ambient can occur in the irradiated product.

Similar to sterilization by heat that requires high temperatures for specified times, sterilization of foods by irradiation requires high enough radiation doses to inactivate bacterial spores.

Radiation sterilization can be accomplished using one of three forms of radiation: gamma sterilization using radioisotopes, electron beam using electron accelerators, or beta radiation using an electron accelerator.

The irradiation sterilization process extends beyond treatment of health care products to commodities and irradiation of food to destroy pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli to make our food safer to eat.

Irradiation sterilization of foods, including meats and poultry, was extensively studied in the 1950s and 1960s, mostly by the US government. Irradiation sterilization effectively kills microorganisms because of its ability to break the chemical bonds of organic compounds, producing highly reactively species known as free radicals.
Irradiation sterilization

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