Common questions

Is irradiating food expensive?

Is irradiating food expensive?

Average costs per pound of irradiating food are similar for the electron accelerator and cobalt-60 irradiators analyzed in this study, but initial investment costs can vary by $1 million. Irradiation costs range from 0.5 to 7 cents per pound and decrease as annual volumes treated increase.

Why is irradiated food expensive?

The primary reason is that irradiation is a process involving no raw materials. Initial capital requirements for an irradiation facility are relatively high. The cost for a commercial irradiator starts at over a million dollars and can typically cost several million dollars, depending on production capacity.

What is the cost of a typical irradiation facility?

The cost to build a commercial cobalt-60 food irradiation plant is in the range of US $3 million to $5 million (based on research by the University of Wisconsin), depending on its size, processing capacity, and other factors. This is within the range of plant costs for other technologies.

Which foods are irradiated?

The FDA has approved a variety of foods for irradiation in the United States including:

  • Beef and Pork.
  • Crustaceans (e.g., lobster, shrimp, and crab)
  • Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.
  • Lettuce and Spinach.
  • Poultry.
  • Seeds for Sprouting (e.g., for alfalfa sprouts)
  • Shell Eggs.
  • Shellfish – Molluscan.

What are the pros cons of food irradiation?

Irradiation is also a highly effective form of preservation, — reduces spoilage and decomposition and increasing shelf life — controls insects on imported fruits, — destroys imported insects and reduces the “need for other pest-control practices that may harm the fruit” — and delays the sprouting and ripening of foods …

How much does cobalt 60 cost?

The thermal power of Cobalt 60 –1130 curies a gram 17.4 watts a gram costs $280 a gram ($280,000 a kilogram) by one estimate.

How long does it take to irradiate food?

Food irradiation is a “cold treatment” that achieves its effects without raising the food’s temperature significantly, leaving the food closer to its original state. Even spices which are treated for 2-4 hours remain essentially at room temperature.

Does eating irradiated food present long term health risks?

4. Does eating irradiated food present long-term health risks? No. Federal government and other scientists reviewed several hundred studies on the effects of food irradiation before reaching conclusions about the general safety of the treatment.

How many people are ready to buy irradiated food?

About 50% of the population is ready to buy irradiated foods, if asked. Acceptance will be greater if irradiated food is not much more expensive than nonirradiated food. The rate of acceptance can increase from 50% up to 80% to 90% if customers understand that irradiation reduces harmful bacteria in food.

How does food irradiation improve the shelf life of food?

Food irradiation (the application of ionizing radiation to food) is a technology that improves the safety and extends the shelf life of foods by reducing or eliminating microorganisms and insects. Like pasteurizing milk and canning fruits and vegetables, irradiation can make food safer for the consumer.

Is it safe to cook food that has been irradiated?

Irradiated foods need to be stored, handled, and cooked in the same way as non-irradiated foods, because they could still become contaminated with disease-causing organisms after irradiation if the rules of basic food safety are not followed.

What happens if you give an animal irradiated food?

Studies on animals fed irradiated foods have shown increased tumors, reproductive failures and kidney damage. Some possible causes are: irradiation-induced vitamin deficiencies, the inactivity of enzymes in the food, DNA damage, and toxic radiolytic products in the food.