In a notice dated 13 November 2015, FSSAI has called for suggestions, views, comments from stakeholders on the proposed standards on Irradiation of Foods. The objections and suggestions can be mailed to FSSAI on or before 13 January 2016. FSSAI has made some changes in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, for regulation relating to ‘Irradiation of Food.’
The regulation is presently called IRRADIATION OF FOOD but FSSAI has now proposed to call the regulation RADIATION PROCESSING OF FOOD. Except for the foods given in the table along with the dose of radiation no other food will be permitted to be processed by radiation. Foods that are permitted for being processed by radiation cannot receive a dose of radiation in excess of what has been stated in the regulations as mentioned in the two tables below. Earlier the permitted foods were named individually but in the proposed regulation foods permitted to be irradiated have been classified into groups.
Table 1: Classes of Food Products and Dose Limits for Radiation Processing
|Class||Food||Purpose||Dose Limit kGy(kilo Gray)|
|Class I||Bulbs, stem and root tubers and rhizomes||Inhibit sprouting||0.02||0.2|
|Class 2||Fresh fruits and vegetables (other than Class 1)||Delay ripening||0.2||1.0|
|Shelf -life extension||1.0||2.5|
|Class 3||Cereals and their milled products, pulses and their milled products, nuts, oil seeds, dried fruits and their products||Insect disinfestation||0.25||1.0|
|Reduction of microbial load||1.5||5.0|
|Class 4||Elimination of pathogenic micro organisms||1.0||7.0|
|Shelf -life extension||1.0||3.0|
|Control of human parasites||0,3||2.0|
|Class 5||Meat and meat products including poultry (fresh and frozen) and eggs||Elimination of pathogenic micro organisms||1.0||7.0|
|Shelf -life extension||1.0||3.0|
|Control of human parasites||0.3||1.0|
|Class 6||Dry vegetables, seasonings, spices, condiments, dry herbs and their products, tea, coffee, cocoa and plant products||Microbial de-contamination||6.0||14.0|
|Class 7||Dried foods of animal origin and their products||Insect disinfestation||0.3||1.0|
|Control of moulds||1.0||3.0|
|Elimination of pathogenic micro organisms||2.0||7.0|
|Class 8||Ethnic foods, military rations, space foods, ready-to-eat, ready-to-cook/ minimally processed foods||Quarantine application||0.23||1.0|
|Reduction of microbial load||2.0||10.0|
Table 2: Dose Limits for Radiation Processing of Allied Products
|Sr.No||Allied Product||Purpose||Dose Limit kGy(kiloGray|
|1.||Packaging materials for food or allied product||Microbial decontamination||5.0||10.0|
|2.||Food additives||Insect disinfestation||0.25||1.0|
|3,||Health foods, dietary supplements and nutraceuticals||Insect disinfestation||0.25||1.0|
Atomic Energy (Radiation Processing of Food and Allied Products) Rules, 2012 provision that the facilities must carry out routine quantitative dosimentry during operations and all measurements must be kept.
Requirement for Radiation Processing
The Atomic Energy (Radiation Processing of Food and Allied Products) Rules, 2012 is the authority for approvals and licenses and so no facility can carry out treatment of food without their approval. Once the license has been given the facility has to comply with their provisions and conditions for approval, operations, license and process control and all irradiation has to be carried in accordance with provisions of the Rules. No food or irradiated food will be permitted to leave the facility unless it has been irradiated according to Atomic Energy (Radiation Processing of Food and Allied Products) Rules, 2012. The facility has to provide a certificate of irradiation indicating the dose of irradiation and the purpose of irradiation.
Restrictions on Radiation Processing of Food
Radiation processing has to conform to the dose limit, the radiation source, and the conditions specified for each type or category of food for processing by radiation as provided under the Atomic Energy (Radiation Processing of Food and Allied Products) Rules, 2012.
- All foods that have been irradiated must be distinctly identifiable so that that are not subject to irradiation.
- Only those foods can be re-irradiated which are permitted under the regulations.
- All personnel undertaking radiation process must have the minimum qualifications and training as prescribed for the purpose under the Atomic Energy (Radiation Processing of Food and Allied Products) Rules, 2012.
According to the Atomic Energy (Radiation Processing of Food and Allied Products) Rules, 2012
- A record of radiation processing of food has to be maintained of any treatment that has been given to various foods
- The radiation processed food shall comply with all the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act and the Regulations made thereunder specifying standards of such food.
- Save as otherwise provided in these regulations, no person shall irradiate for sale, store for sale, or transport for sale irradiated food.
- A restriction on the sale of radiation processed food has been provisioned as all such foods shall be offered for sale only in pre-packaged conditions.
Labelling of Radiation Processed Food
- The label of a food, which has been treated with ionizing radiation, must carry a written statement indicating the treatment given to the food. The type of treatment will be placed in close proximity to the name of the food.
- All packages of radiation processed food shall bear the international Radura logo in green colour and declaration will be as follows:
PROCESSED BY RADIATION
Name of the Product:
Purpose of Radiation Processing:
Operating License No.:
Batch Identification No. (BIN) (As provided by facility)
What is food irradiation?
Food Irradiation is a technology that improves the safety and extends the shelf life of foods by reducing or eliminating microorganisms and insects. Just as pasteurizing makes milk safe and canning makes fruits and vegetables safe; so irradiation can make a number of food safer for the consumer. Irradiation eliminates microorganisms that cause spoilage, decomposition or food borne illnesses. It also helps to destroy insects in tropical fruits. Irradiation is carried out to inhibit sprouting, like in potatoes and ripening of fruit, which increases life of these types of foods. Foods sterilised using irradiation can be stored without refrigeration for years.