LIMITS OF FOOD IRRADIATION
While food irradiation can reduce the risk of some illnesses and lower food costs by reducing spoilage, it has several limitations:
• It cannot improve food that has already started to deteriorate.
• It does not remove toxins such as botulism.
• It may increase levels of free radicals – which are linked to ageing and cancer – in food.
• It destroys protective micro-organisms which may inhibit the growth of any harmful bacteria that survive irradiation.
• Not all foods are suitable for irradiation: avocados, cantaloupes, pears, plums and some citrus fruits are degraded by ionizing radiation.