Global Status and Commercial Applications of Food Irradiation
Food irradiation is used in over 60 countries. In USA, the Food and Drug Administration has approved irradiation for over 50 years, but only recently has there been major growth in the commercial sale of irradiated foods for human consumption. The increased availability of irradiated foods in the US marketplace is largely the result of requirements that imported fruits and vegetables are free of harmful insect pests that threaten domestic crop production. There is also significant growth in the use of irradiation and commercial availability of irradiated produce in Asia and Oceania. Most of the recent growth in irradiation has occurred in produce as a phytosanitary intervention to gain market access. In the future, opportunities exist in developing countries to use irradiation to reduce food waste by increasing shelf life and disinfestation. There are more than 150 irradiation facilities in over 40 countries. An estimated 55 facilities worldwide use food irradiation and related food irradiation research. This chapter reviews the global status of food irradiation in about 40 countries.