Course:FNH200/Lessons/Lesson 10/Page 10.0

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Preservation of Food with Ionizing Energy

10.0 Overview

The exposure of food to ionizing energy, more commonly known as food irradiation, is a preservation technology that has generated much public debate. In this lesson you will learn important definitions relating to this technology. The types and sources of ionizing energy and irradiator layout will be introduced. You will learn about the current regulations regarding the use of ionizing energy for food preservation in Canada and in other countries. We will explore a number of issues and controversies about the use of ionizing energy in the food industry. This lesson provides you a sound understanding of ionizing energy as a preservation technology and introduces you to the issues that have been raised in the popular press.


Upon completion of this lesson you will be able to:

  • understand the concept of food irradiation as a food preservation method;
  • outline the terminologies commonly used in conjunction with preservation of food with ionizing energy
  • describe the principles for determining the required irradiation dose depending on the desired outcome
  • illustrate the principles for determining wholesomeness and safety of irradiated foods
  • summarize the regulations, and compare the magnitude of food products that are approved for irradiation in Canada versus United States of America
  • articulate a personal set of values pertaining to the use of ionizing energy in food preservation

Optional Reading