New way of sterilization using radiations

Atomic sectors in India along with some foreign government companies are working on a project that aims to set up a network of radiation sterilization centres across India. The centres will offer food decontamination and sterilization of medical products by ionizing radiation, including sterilization of medical products such as Latex Examination Gloves called as Sterile Surgical Gloves after sterlization, decontamination of fruit, berries and other products exported from India to developed countries.
The centres will be constructed in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra and the first pilot centre is planned to be established in Tamil Nadu. This is the first such major intervention by a foreign government nuclear utility in India, one of the largest food producers in the world with about 600 million tonnes of food products generated every year.

Currently the project is in its pre-investment phase with the internal corporate procedures being undertaken, after which the investment phase of the project will start. It is planned to construct one pilot irradiation centre with two facilities that will provide services of food decontamination and sterilization of medical products. The pilot centre will occupy an area of approximately 2 hectares at the Chezhianallur Village near Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu.
Same is about to be operational in Russia very soon. When the radiation sterilization centres in India become operational, it will get a great example of competitive product solution in terms of specialized radiation centres throughout.

Radiation sterilization is a physical process of irradiation of medical products by ionizing radiation. Products are subjected to irradiation in specialized radiation technology facilities where gamma-rays (gamma-rays of Co-60 or Cs-137 isotopes) or electron accelerators are used. When electrons go through the material substance, most of their energy is spent on ionization, which results in destruction of micro-organisms and a reduction in the number of pathogenic bacteria and viruses.

The process of radiation sterilization is the final stage of production of single-use medical products. These technologies can be used in agriculture, as well as for municipal solid waste sterilization and in the petrochemical industry. Many countries in the world including the US, the UK, Canada and France have given clearance for radiation processing of food.
The Government of India has permitted the use of radiation technology in preservation of food items such as potato, onion, rice semolina, wheat flour, mango, raisins, dried dates, ginger, garlic, shallots (small onions) as well as meat and meat products including chicken.

The Mumbai-based Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has done extensive research and development work on preservation of food by radiation and has been involved in setting up the first demonstration plant for radiation processing of onions and potatoes at Lasalgaon in Nasik, Maharashtra. The same plant is also proposed to be used for low dose radiation processing of other foods with alterations in throughput and source utilization efficiency.

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