Today in Uk the following technologies for food irradiation are being used

  • Electron Irradiation
  • Gamma Irradiation
  • X-Ray Irradiation

Electron Irradiation : Electron irradiation uses electrons which are accelerated to near light speed in an electric field. Electrons being particulate radiation have a relatively much larger cross section photons, Thus they does not penetrate deeper than a few inchs into the food item, depending on product density.

Gamma Irradiation : The photon radiation in the gamma section of the electromagnetic spectrum is called Gamma radiation. The Gamma radiation is produced through the use of radioisotopes like Cobalt-60. Food irradiation using Cobalt-60 is the highly prefered method which adopted by most food processors. This is because of the fact that Gamma irradiation penetrates much deeper and thus material handing is not required.

X Ray Irradiation : X-rays are those photon radiation which have a wide enery spectrum. X-rays are generated by colliding accelerated electrons with a heavy metal plate like that of tungsten .