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Physics in Food Technology

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Pauline Seriritan

on 3 September 2013

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Transcript of Physics in Food Technology

is broadly defined as energy moving through space in invisible waves.
Radiant energy has differing wavelengths and degrees of power. Light, infrared heat, and microwaves are forms of radiant energy.
The radiation of interest in food preservation is ionizing radiation, also known as irradia-tion. These shorter wavelengths are capable of damaging microorganisms such as those that contaminate food or cause food spoilage and deterioration.
Physics in Food Technology
For fermentation in the production of wine, beer and dairy products.
Used for cooking and drying.
Without electricity, no machine would be operating.
For transportation of raw materials and end products.
For food safety and nutritional quality.
What is food irradiation?
The purpose of irradiating food is, quite simply, to improve quality. Illuminating a food with ionizing radiation can rid it of harmful pathogens and can also make it more aesthetically appealing. The essence of the process is that radiation disrupts a cell’s chromosomal DNA; if the cell is unable to repair that lesion, it dies.
Why is food irradiated?
Food is irradiated to provide the same benefits as when it is processed by heat, refrigeration, freezing or treated with chemicals to destroy insects, fungi or bacterial that cause food to spoil or cause human disease and to make it possible to keep food longer and in better condition in warehouses and homes.
How is food irradiated?
Food is exposed to a carefully measured amount of intense ionizing radiation. This is done in a special processing room or chamber for a specified duration. With food irradiation, radiant energy (electrons, gamma rays, or x-rays) breaks chemical bonds, leaving the food still like-fresh, but with specific benefits, depending on treatment level.
Are irradiated foods still nutritious?
Does irradiation make food radioactive?
Physics in Food Irradiation
No. Radioactivity in foods can occur by two routes: contamination of foods with radioactive substances or by penetration of energy into the nuclei of the atoms that make up the food.
Yes. Irradiated foods are wholesome and nutritious. All known methods of food processing and even storing food at room temperature for a few hours after harvesting can lower the content of some nutrients, such as vitamins. At low doses of radiation, nutrient losses are either not measurable or, if they can be measured, are not significant. At the higher doses used to extend shelf-life or control harmful bacteria, nutritional losses are less than or about the same as cooking and freezing.
Two things are needed for the irradiation process:

A source of
radiant energy
A way to
confine that energy
. For food irradiation, the sources are radioisotopes (radioactive materials) and machines that produce high-energy beams.
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