International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Research Applications and Utilization of Accelerators

4-8 May 2009, Vienna


Electron Beam Irradiation Effects on Some Packaged Dried Food Items

N.L. del Mastro1 and S.R. Mattiolo2

1Nuclear and Energy Research Institute, IPEN-CNEN/SP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2Navy Technological Center-CTMSP, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Corresponding Author:

For radical sports practitioners, small nutritious snack foods are needed. At the same time, food preparation must guarantee long shelf life and be compact or lightweight for easiness of carrying. Commercial individually packaged foods can be used either for sports practitioners like adventure racing or eventually as military rations. Irradiation processing of foods is an important preservation technology. High-voltage electron beams generated from linear accelerators are an alternative to radioisotope generators as they require much shorter exposure times (seconds vs. hours for γ irradiation) to be effective and are currently used to pasteurize meat products among others food items. This work describes the application of electron beam irradiation on some food items used in sport training diets: fiber rich cookies, fruit cereal bars, instant dehydrated asparagus soup and instant Brazilian corn pudding. Each kind of sample contained 3 groups of 15 units each. Irradiation was performed with an electron beam accelerator Dynamitron (Radiation Dynamics Inc.) model JOB 188, with doses of 5 and 10 kGy. For the evaluation of irradiated samples a methodology based on the Analytical Norms of the Instituto Adolfo Lutz, one of the South
America Reference Laboratories was employed. The microbiological and sensory analyses of the diverse irradiated samples are presented. Electron beam irradiation resulted in significant reduction of the fungus and yeast load but caused dose dependent differences of some sensory characteristics. A careful dose choice and special irradiation conditions must be used in order to achieve sensory requirements needed for the commercialization of these irradiated food items.