From: Spiro Garbis
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 6:15 PM
To: Bruce Parker; Elwood Richard; Jim Roza
The Basic Disadvantages of Food Irradiation:
- It reduces the content of several key nutrients such as Vitamin E (~15-30 %); Thiamin (~10-25%); Vitamin C (5-15%); Riboflavin (~7-10%); Pyridoxine (~10-20%); Vitamin B12 (~15-20%). Other nutrients are also affected however the results are less consistent.
- It creates radiolytic products with unknown short term or long term safety effects.
- Some of the organoleptic properties are affected especially for herbs, spices, essential oils.
- Formation of cholesterol oxides and fatty acid epoxidation and other oxidation products (aldehydes, esters, ketones etc.) posing safety concerns.
- Aggregation of certain proteins has been found for high protein commodities.
- The method is 90-95%% effective in killing microorganisms. The remaining 5-10% remain unaffected and may proliferate thus negating the irradiation steps. The methods can result in 95-100% effectiveness but will substantially affect the quality of the food item (taste, nutrient contents, radiolytic products,denaturing proteins, fatty acids etc.).
- Is ineffective against viruses.
The above information is based on the latest scientific studies and resources from the UIC School of Public Health.