Irradiated black pepper identification based on thermoluminescence of silicate minerals

  • Fayçal Kharfi
  • Randa Ketfi


In this work we have successfully implemented thermoluninescence TL method for irradiated food identification. First tests are performed on Indian black pepper and show promising results to extend the proposed method to many other foods. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) shows that SiO2 (p3221) is the main component of the separated mineral phase. A saturation dose of ~ 100 Gy is determined for this pepper above which all thermoluminescent centers of the quartz are activated. Thus, above this threshold dose, only the pepper irradiation will be confirmed but no accuracy on the exact dose received.


Food irradiation Quartz Thermoluminescence Density separation X-ray diffraction 



The authors take pleasure in acknowledging the assistance of Dr. A. Hayoune from the polytechnics school of Constantine in the XRD analysis. We want also to thank Pr. A. Boucenna for his effort in the acquisition of the very powerful Risø TL/OSL-DA-20 reader.


  1. 1.
    Chauhan SK, Kumar R, Nadanasabapathy S, Bawa AS (2009) Detection methods for irradiated foods. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf 8(1):4–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ihsanullah I, Azhar R (2017) Current activities in food irradiation as a sanitary and phytosanitary treatment in the Asia and the Pacific Region and a comparison with advanced countries. J Food Control 72:345–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Farkas J, Andrassy E, Incze K (1981) Evaluation of possible mutagenicity of irradiated spices. J Acta Aliment 10:129–135Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    WHO Technical Report Series: 890 (1999) High-dose irradiation: wholesomeness of food irradiated with doses above 10 kGy. A report from a joint FAO/IAEA/WHO study group. World Health Org Tech Rep Ser 890:1–197Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Morehouse KM, Vanee K (2004) Irradiation of food and packaging: an overview. ACS symposium series 875 irradiation of food and packaging. Chapter 1:1–11Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kavitha C, Aparna K, Supraja T, Blessy Sagar S (2015) Effect of gamma irradiation on antioxidant properties of ber (Zizyphus mauritiana) fruit. J Food Sci Technol 52(5):3123–3128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sharon Palmer RD (2009) Irradiation: what it is, what it does, and how it affects the food supply. Today’s Dietitian 11(1):32Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    IAEA-TECDOC (1992) Irradiation of spices, herbs and other vegetable seasonings, a compilation of technical data for its authorization and control. International consultative group on food irradiation established under the aegis of FAO, IAEA, WHO. IAEA-TECDOC-639Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    EN 1788 (2001) Thermoluminescence detection of irradiated food from which silicate minerals can be isolated. British Standard. ICS 67.050. BSI 3Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pinnioja S (1998) Thermoluminescence method for detection of irradiation food. Report series in radiochemistry 9/1998Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Boyle R (1664) Experiments and considerations upon colours with observations on a diamond that shines in the dark. Henry Herringham, LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Urbach F (1930), Zur lumineszenz der alkalihalogenide: II. Messungmethoden; erste ergebnisse; zur theorie der thermolumineszenz, Sitzungsberichte Akademie der Wissenshaften in Wien, abteilung IIa, 139 band, heft 1–10, pp 363–372Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Furetta C (2003) Handbook of thermoluminescence. World Scientific Publishing, SingaporeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Srinivasan K (2009) Black pepper (piper nigrum) and its bioactive compound, piperine. In: Molecular targets and therapeutic uses of spices.
  15. 15.
    Meghwal M, Goswami TK (2012) Chemical composition, nutritional, medicinal and functional properties of black pepper: a review. Open Access Sci Rep 1:172. Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kumarraval S, Alagusundaram K (2014) Determination of mineral content in indian spices by ICP-OES. Orient J Chem 30(2):631–636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17. Accessed 27 Jan 2017
  18. 18.
    Guide to the Risø TL/OSL Reader (2015). DTU Nutech, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Downs B, Swaminathan R, Bartelmehs K (1993) Am Miner 78:1104–1107Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of Ferhat Abbas-Setif1SetifAlgeria
  2. 2.Laboratory of Dosing, Analysis and Characterization With High Resolution (DAC)SetifAlgeria

Personalised recommendations