The mission of the AERB is to ensure the use of ionising radiation and nuclear energy in India does not cause undue risk to the health of people and the environment.

Radiation Processing Facilities

All applications have to be processed through eLORA only

eLORA User Guidelines- Radiation Processing Facilities




Radiation Processing Facilities are of two types

  • Gamma based i.e Radioactive source based  Gamma Radiation Processing Facility (GRAPF).
  • Accelerator based, Industrial Accelerator Radiation Processing Facility (IARPF).

The GRAPFs are used for preservation of food products, sterilization of health care products, polymerisation of wood, vulcanisation of rubber and such purposes for which high intensity irradiation is required. The high intensity gamma radiation processing facility considered here is of land-based stationary installation type. Land-based gamma radiation processing facilities are either dry source storage or wet source storage using several GBq of suitably encapsulated radioactive material (Usually Co-60) for radiation processing of the target material. 

Photon and electron beam produced from the IARPF is used for radiation processing of food items, healthcare products and cross-linking of cables.

Radiation processing of food is an extremely efficient process and does not leave any residue. The products remain closer to the fresh state in flavour, colour and texture. The chemical change in food due to radiation processing is so small that it is difficult to design a test to identify whether a food has been irradiated. During the process, no liquid is added; it does not cause loss of natural juices. Large or small amounts of foods can be irradiated in appropriate containers.

Radiation processing of food is essentially a cold process. Because of this, nutrient losses are significantly less than those associated with canning, drying and heat pasteurization. Macro nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats undergo no change during radiation processing.


Radiation processing of spices


Before and after radiation processing

 

Myths & Facts with respect to Radiation processing of food:

MYTH: Irradiated food is radioactive.
FACT: No, Irradiation food is not radioactive as it is only the passage of gamma rays or electrons/X-rays. Nothing is injected into the food material and no radioactivity is produced or released during the process.

MYTH: There can be melt-down/ explosion of the Radiation Processing Facility because of the radiation source.
FACT: There is no possibility of chain reactions or achieving criticality.

Safety Issues

The Radiation Processing Facilities pose external radiation hazard. One of the benefits of accelerators is that, unlike radioactive sources, they only produce radiation when they are energized.

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