TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A subsidiary of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has unveiled a homegrown system that streamlines the pest control process in the food industry with the application of ionizing radiation.
Iran’s Radiation Application Development Company has manufactured a 60-kilowatt industrial irradiation system for the pest control process in agricultural and post-harvest treatments, its CEO said.
Pejman Shirmardi said in a televised interview that the homegrown system uses ionizing radiation produced by a source, such as cobalt-60, to kill pests that may affect agricultural crops.
The new industrial irradiation pest control machine can treat a broad range of products and food stuff, such as cereals, grains, crops, medicinal herbs, dates, and figs, he said.
The CEO noted that the Iranian system will increase the shelf-life and storage capacity of agricultural products, raise the country’s economic productivity, and improve health indices in the food industry.
Food irradiation is the process of exposing foodstuffs to gamma rays to kill bacteria that can cause food-borne disease, and to increase shelf-life. It has the same benefits as when food is heated, refrigerated, frozen, or treated with chemicals, but does not change the temperature or leave residues.
In all parts of the world, there is growing use of irradiation technology to preserve food. More than 60 countries worldwide have introduced regulations allowing the use of irradiation for food products including spices, grains, fruit, vegetables, and meat.
It can replace potentially harmful chemical fumigants used to eliminate insects from dried fruit and grain.
According to FAO, nuclear techniques help national authorities in over 50 countries to improve food safety by addressing the problem of harmful residues and contaminants in food products and to improve their traceability systems with stable isotope analysis.