Topics in Current Chemistry

, 375:6 | Cite as

Electron Beam Technology and Other Irradiation Technology Applications in the Food Industry

  • Suresh D. Pillai
  • Shima Shayanfar
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Applications of Radiation Chemistry


Food irradiation is over 100 years old, with the original patent for X-ray treatment of foods being issued in early 1905, 20 years after there discovery by W. C. Roentgen in 1885. Since then, food irradiation technology has become one of the most extensively studied food processing technologies in the history of mankind. Unfortunately, it is the one of the most misunderstood technologies with the result that there are rampant misunderstandings of the core technology, the ideal applications, and how to use it effectively to derive the maximum benefits. There are a number of books, book chapters, and review articles that provide overviews of this technology [25, 32, 36, 39]. Over the last decade or so, the technology has come into greater focus because many of the other pathogen intervention technologies have been unable to provide sustainable solutions on how to address pathogen contamination in foods. The uniqueness of food irradiation is that this technology is a non-thermal food processing technology, which unto itself is a clear high-value differentiator from other competing technologies.


Electron beam Food irradiation Phytosanitary Pathogen Pasteurization 



This work was supported by Hatch grant H8708 administered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Research of the Texas A&M University System. This work was also completed as part of the activities of the IAEA Collaborating Centre for Electron Beam Technology.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Center for Electron Beam Research, An IAEA Collaborating Centre for Electron Beam Technology, Graduate Program in Food Science & TechnologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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