In nature, as long as the temperature is above absolute zero, objects with temperature, including our human body, are constantly transmitting heat outward in the form of electromagnetic waves and particles, and this way of transferring energy is called radiation.
With the development of technology, from televisions, mobile phones, computers, induction cookers, and microwave ovens, these devices and facilities will generate electromagnetic radiation. Therefore, radiation exists in all aspects of our lives.
When the energy is applied to the target microorganisms, causing them to suffer irreversible loss and destruction to achieve the goal of sterilization, this processing technology is called radiation processing technology.
From the sterilization of medical and healthcare products, medicines, and laboratory consumables to food, animal feed, and pet supplies, irradiation has penetrated into every aspect of life, but some people still have concerns about the safety of irradiation.
What are the applications of irradiation processing?
At present, it is mainly used in the sterilization of medical and health products. Here, medical supplies and food irradiation are used for explanation.
1. Radiation disinfection and sterilization of medical supplies
Mainly refers to the use of radiation processing equipment to irradiate packaged disposable medical supplies, sanitary supplies, surgical instruments, medical dressings, etc. under normal temperature and pressure, so as to achieve the purpose of disinfection and sterilization.
Radiation disinfection and sterilization has obvious advantages. It can be processed at normal temperature and pressure, saves energy, has no pollution, can be processed in large quantities, and is easy to control.
Because of its unique high efficiency and no residue, it can be disinfected and sterilized after packaging to avoid secondary pollution. Conventional high-temperature and high-pressure sterilization is time-consuming and energy-consuming, and ethylene oxide sterilization destroys the environment.
2. Irradiation of food
It is to use radiation to irradiate food to sterilize, kill insects, or inhibit the life activities of fresh food, so as to achieve the purpose of preventing mildew, antiseptic, extending the shelf life of food or keeping fresh.
Food will spoil quickly due to the action of bacteria and mold. High-energy rays can damage the DNA in the nucleus of microorganisms, and the generated active particles can also kill bacteria. Therefore, the radiation method can effectively sterilize such foods and extend their shelf life.
Is irradiated food safe?
Regarding irradiation sterilization, ordinary people are most worried about whether the irradiated food will have radiation residue.
Irradiated products are safe and can be assured.
First of all, there will be no residual radiation after irradiation. Will the irradiated food produce radiation by itself?
This phenomenon is called activation. As the radiation source, Co60 releases low energy during decay, which makes it difficult to initiate activation.
Secondly, the joint expert committee of FAO, IAEA, and WHO concluded that when the total average radiation dose of any commercial food reaches the level of 10kGy, there is no toxicological hazard, and the food is processed in this way does not require toxicological inspection. Food irradiated with a dose of 10kGy will not cause special nutritional or microbial problems.
Therefore, irradiated food is safe and can be eaten with confidence.
Is there any residual radiation?
Radioactive material-Co-60 is sealed in a double-layer stainless steel container and fixed on the cobalt source frame, while the product is loaded in a special irradiation container. The cargo box only runs on a fixed track. The cobalt source plate and the radiation There is a certain distance between the irradiation containers, and the product is only irradiated by radiation, and will not be in direct contact with radioactive materials, so it will not be contaminated by radioactive materials.
As far as induced radioactivity is concerned, induced radioactivity refers to the problem that the constituent elements of the product become radioactive elements due to radiation. In fact, the energy of Co-60? rays used in product irradiation processing is only 1.17 Mev and 1.33 Mev, with an average energy of 1.25Mev, studies have shown that the main elements C (carbon), O (oxygen), N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus), S (sulfur), etc., which constitute the material, must be turned into radionuclides at least Requires high-energy radiation of more than 10Mev. The ability of Co-60? radiation is far below the energy threshold that may induce radioactivity in the product, and it will not produce induced nuclides and their compounds.
Irradiation processing is still an industry with a large room for growth in China. Irradiation technology will be a green industry with potential for environmental protection and resource utilization.
Irradiation, which is the radiation we often hear, what exactly is it?-Safeagle
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