Irradiation of food and supplements is used in more than 60 countries to prolong stability and extend shelf lives. Approximately 500,000 tons of food products are irradiated worldwide each year, particularly herbs and spices. Irradiation is applied on food for the following reasons:
- to kill microorganisms in herbs and spices
- to prevent sprouting and germination of potatoes, onions and garlic
- to kill or sterilize insects in cereals, dried fruit, nuts and vegetables
- to defer maturing and ripening in fruit and vegetables
- to prolong the date-of-expiry by killing microorganisms in meat and fish
Irradiated food must follow strict labeling guidelines, which vary by country. Testing has to be done using a method suitable for the product to obtain reliable results.
How Eurofins can help
Eurofins offers irradiation testing in food, food additives, dietary supplements and other products using multiple methods that adhere to local regulatory guidelines.
- Herbs and spices
- Potatoes, onions and garlic
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Fish and shellfish
- Dietary supplements
- Food additives
- And many others
- Photostimulated Luminescence (PSL)
Rapid and reliable screening method for dry food containing silicate minerals (e.g. small dust particles). Suitable for herbs, spices, dried fruits or nuts
- Thermoluminescence (TL)
Highly specific and sensitive method for food containing silicate minerals. Suitable for herbs, spices, dried fruits, nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, tubers, onions, seafood or shrimps
- Electron Spin Resonance (ESR)
Very reliable method based on detecting paramagnetic compounds. Suitable for food containing crystalline sugars (e.g. refined sugar), apatite containing foods (e.g. meat bones from cattle, chicken; fish bones; frogs' legs), shells from mussels and snails and cellulose containing samples (e.g. walnut shells)
Our Competence Centre for irradiation testing, Eurofins in Germany, is one of the very few commercial laboratories worldwide offering a broad set of methods available for food irradiation analysis. Eurofins employs a team of internationally acknowledged and leading experts, who are active in various national and international associations for the standardisation of methods as well as in scientific advisory boards.