Skip to main content
Select Source:

Irradiation

Irradiation

Irradiation, or "electronic pasteurization ," exposes food to a radiant source of energy, such as gamma rays or electron beams, for a brief period of time. Irradiation is a "cold" process that produces little heat, so food can remain packaged throughout the processand until opened by the consumer. Irradiation decreases or eliminates harmful bacteria , insects, and parasites . It does not make a food radioactive, and it is allowed in nearly forty countries (including the United States, France, Israel, Russia, and China). It is also endorsed by many agencies, including the World Health Organization. Food Irradiation is not without controversy, however, and many consumer groups and organic farming organizations oppose it, believing that it can alter the cellular structure of foods and cause the production of free radicals . Other hazards cited by critics include the partial destruction of vitamins in irradiated foods, the destruction of beneficial bacteria as well as harmful bacteria, and the environmental hazard of nuclear irradiation facilities.

A logo called the "radura" is used internationally to indicate that the food has been irradiated, though some have suggested that this symbol is too benign to accurately represent the irradiation process, and that it is too similar to the symbol of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

see also Biotechnology; Food Safety.

M. Elizabeth Kunkel Barbara H. D. Luccia

Bibliography

Institute of Food Technologists' Expert Panel on Food Safety and Nutrition (1998). Scientific Status Summary: Irradiation of Food. Chicago, IL: Author.

Satin, Morton (1996). Food Irradiation: A Guidebook, 2nd edition. Lancaster, PA: Technomic Publishing.

Internet Resources

U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. Available from <http://www.fsis.usda.gov>

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Irradiation." Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Irradiation." Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/food/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/irradiation

"Irradiation." Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z. . Retrieved April 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/food/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/irradiation

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

irradiation

irradiation Exposure to nuclear or electromagnetic radiation. Materials are often irradiated with high-energy neutrons in nuclear reactors, to make them temporarily radioactive. More portable sources of such radiation are radioisotopes such as cobalt-60 and caesium-137, which are used in the irradiation treatment for cancer. Treatment also involves the use of particle accelerator, including proton and neutron beam machines. Ionizing radiation is used in food preservation to destroy bacteria and microorganisms in some foodstuffs, while in other foods, such as soft fruits, it increases shelf-life. The process of irradiation in food technology is still being closely monitored.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"irradiation." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"irradiation." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/irradiation

"irradiation." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/irradiation

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

irradiation

irradiation (i-ray-di-ay-shŏn) n.
1. exposure of the body's tissues to ionizing radiation. The source may be background radiation, diagnostic X-rays, radiotherapy, or nuclear accidents.

2. exposure of a substance or object to ionizing radiation. Irradiation of food with gamma rays to kill bacteria is a technique used in food preservation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"irradiation." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"irradiation." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/irradiation

"irradiation." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Retrieved April 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/irradiation

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

irradiation

ir·ra·di·a·tion / iˌrādēˈāshən/ • n. 1. the process or fact of irradiating or being irradiated. 2. Optics the apparent extension of the edges of an illuminated object seen against a dark background.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"irradiation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"irradiation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/irradiation

"irradiation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved April 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/irradiation

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

irradiation

irradiation A method of sterilizing and disinfesting foods using ionizing radiation (X‐rays or γ‐rays) to kill micro‐organisms and insects. Also used to inhibit sprouting of potatoes. See also microwave cooking; ultraviolet radiation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"irradiation." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"irradiation." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/irradiation

"irradiation." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Retrieved April 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/irradiation

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

irradiation

irradiation Exposure to any form of radiation; often exposure to ionizing radiation is implied. See also food preservation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"irradiation." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"irradiation." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/irradiation

"irradiation." A Dictionary of Biology. . Retrieved April 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/irradiation

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.