Food irradiation

Appears in

The New Vegetarian

The New Vegetarian

By Colin Spencer

Published 1986

  • About

A new method of preserving food is now being considered for widespread use, which involves bombarding it with gamma radiation to destroy bacteria. The process leaves no radioactive particles in the food, and may be an alternative to chemical additives– though it is more likely to be used in conjunction with them.

It is not, however, the panacea some consider it could be. Food can still be contaminated after irradiation, and not all the bacteria may be killed. The process also depletes nutrients in some foods– the B vitamins in rice and fish, vitamin C in fruit and potatoes.