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 (“U.S. Food and Drug Administration” 1). If food is not irradiated correctly, there may potentially be health hazards.
Ionizing radiationHelpIonizing radiationRadiation with so much energy it can knock electrons out of atoms. Ionizing radiation can affect the atoms in living things, so it poses a health risk by damaging tissue and DNA in genes. has sufficient energy to cause chemical changes in cells and damage them. Some cells may die or become abnormal, either temporarily or permanently. By damaging the genetic material
Both the Chemical radiation as well as pathogens like bacteria, viruses or fungi can cause inflammation
Ionizing radiation that is used in medical imaging releases free radicals. These radicals can interfere with the molecular chemical bonds that is responsible for regulating the cellular function inside the cell. The interaction between free radicals and the molecules inside the cell might lead to genetic mutations in the DNA and it can damage cellular enzymes leading to the proliferation of cancer cells. In the United States, 50% of the environmental exposure to ionizing radiation is mainly attributed to medical imaging. Computed tomography (CT) scans are the main source of X-rays, a form of ionizing radiation. The purpose of this project is to present an overview of the main reasons for exposure, explaining the possible future effects of ionizing radiation on human health, enlightening the imaging modalities with ionizing radiation, addressing the population at risk, and explaining the main principles and recommendations to avoid and limit the exposure to ionizing radiation.
Some forms of radiation can be man-made or found naturally, but both are pretty harmful. When radiation merges with molecules in living cells, it can severely damage them. This cell may become cancerous if the DNA has been damaged. This will mean that it can’t repair itself. The cell will go out of control, causing serious health issues, meaning it can increase the risk of both animals and to ourselves in getting cancer. Although radiation is harmful to living cells, too much of it being merged into a living cell will more likely die completely. Sunlight, which is one of the most essential forms of radiation can be extremely harmful in large quantities.
Every day patients are exposed to radiation with diagnostic x-rays, computed tomography, and radiation therapy. Exposure to radiation can cause biologic damage. Cellular damage can be produced by direct action or indirect action. Direct action occurs when the DNA is directly hit by a radiation photon, which can result in single-stranded breaks in DNA and two or more strand breaks. Indirect action occurs through the radiolysis of water leading to the production of free radicals. The hydroxyl radical and hydrogen radical are both unstable. The hydroxyl radical can result in the production of hydrogen peroxide, and the hydrogen radical in the presence of oxygen results in the production of the hydroperoxyl radical. Studies have been performed
Radiation is an important environmental abiotic factor for plants, and one small section of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum, is called the Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), provides the energy to drive the light reactions of photosynthesis. Such radiation damages biological tissues by detaching electrons from the atoms that make up organic molecules. The results include radiation poisoning, cancer, and elevated mutation
Nuclear bombs are starting to become an issue in this day in age with uprising technology. Nuclear chemicals have always been a safety problem but with the growing number of plants it’s starting to become a higher risk. One of the alarming effects that nuclear plants are creating is radiation, radiation can create so many
Radiation is often negatively connotated; however, this impression is inappropriate. Radiation is extremely beneficial in the standards of medicine and is a very predominant as well as an effective way of not only creating energy, but testing how old a fossil is or even how a substance will stand to the test of time. On behalf of the advancements brought to the surface by these developments, the possibility of genetically altering crops with radiation has become possible. With the advancements brought to the light in the early twentieth century, gamma radiation began to hold its own. Gamma radiation is extremely beneficial to society because of its contributions the agrarian culture in the world.
The three sources approved for use on foods are gamma Rays, X-Rays and Electron beam or “e-beam” (“Food Irradiation: What You Need to Know”). Gamma rays are emitted from radioactive forms of cobalt or cesium. X-rays are produced by reflecting a high-energy stream of electrons off a target substance into food. Similar to an X-ray electron beam is a stream of high-energy electrons but unlike X-rays it is propelled from an electron accelerator directly into food. The science behind food irradiation dates back to 1905 when the first U.S. and British patents were issued for use of this method to kill bacteria in food. However the process didn’t gain momentum until 1947 when scientist found that high energy had the potential to sterilize and preserve meat and other foods for troops in the field. The U.S. Army began a series of experiments on fruits, vegetables, fish, meats and dairy products in the 1950’s to establish the safety and effectiveness of the irradiation process. Under the 1958 Food Additives Amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, congress gave the FDA full authority over the food irradiation process. The research done by the FDA included toxicological and microbiological evaluation, as well a test for wholesomeness. The FDA has since approved a variety of foods for irradiation in the US including beef, pork, poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as spices and seasonings. The United Nations formally recognized the science behind food irradiation in 1964 with their first meeting of the Joint Expert Committee on Food Irradiation. Their conclusion was that “irradiation of foods up to the dose of 10 kiloGrays introduces no special nutritional or microbiological problems.” Food irradiation is just one step to make food safer, it’s still important to fully cook meat
Results of the present study also showed that whole body gamma irradiation at 6.5Gy evoked a sharp increase in glucose level and decrease in Mg kidney content. Hyperglycemia has been found post irradiation due to minimized utilization of glucose by injured tissues as well as acceleration of gluconeogenesis which is indirect result of irradiation (Abdel-Salam et al. 2006). The hypomagnesaemia may be due to insufficient renal function or excess release through damaged cells post irradiation (Kotb et al. 1990).
It has been known since the last century that living organisms can be damaged or killed by exposure to certain forms of radiation. The idea that radiation might be used to kill bacteria and other micro organisms in food was seriously proposed in the 1930s but the technology for producing radiation was too expensive and specialized for it to be used other than in experiments. The contamination problems mentioned above have led scientists to try to improve these techniques. The effects of irradiation on food vary much depending on the type of food and on the dosage
Codex Alimentarius “General Standard for Irradiated Foods” and “Recommended International Code of Practice for the Operation of Radiation Facilities”
The FDA greatly expanded the use of food irradiation in the year 1986, even though it was already used for things such as wheat, flour, and potatoes. Before this time, radiation was thought of in food terms as an additive, not a process the food must go through. In fact, by 1988, some nineteen major countries had laws in place that allowed for certain foods to be irradiated to help better preserve them. The world is beginning to realize this form of preservation as a viable option, and the only thing left is for the consumer and the government to decide whether or not this should be a commonly used method.
Advantages: The radiation is used to eradicate harmful bacteria or other harmful organisms from the food substances. The risk of being diagnosed with food related ailments, such as salmonella, ascariasis or cholera, are minimized because the high energy radiation can destroy the carrier organisms. The irradiate foods can be served in hospitals to patient with weakened immune systems. (Brennand 1995)