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Food Irradiation

Food irradiation is a food safety technology that kills bacteria and parasites that can cause food-borne diseases such as salmonella and E. coli, and also to extend the shelf life of food products. It uses gamma rays with short wavelengths and high frequencies that are infused into the food so rapidly that no heat is produced. Certain food such as meat, poultry, eggs, fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, herbs, spices and flour are irradiated.

Food irradiation does not affect the nutrients or texture in meat and other proteins although it does slightly affect the texture of and nutrients in particular fruits and vegetables. The Food and Drug Administration approved its use in food safety in 1972.

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