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Study shows electron-beam irradiation reduces virus-related health risk in lettuce, spinach
Date:2/6/2012

d, along with good handling and processing practices in packing sheds, so the level of virus contamination on the product is kept as low as possible before electron-beam pasteurization," he said.

Pillai said to his knowledge this study is the first to enumerate the reduction in health risks by using electron-beam irradiation on fresh produce.

"This study provides quantified data that electron-beam technology reduces the risk of viral foodborne illness in lettuce and spinach," Pillai said. "But so far the fresh produce industry has not adopted this technology. It's similar to auto manufacturers having a supply of seat belts but not installing them in their vehicles.

"This research provides quantifiable proof of the risk-reduction benefits of electron-beam irradiation, and we hope it will lead to greater public demand for the use of this technology as part of good agricultural and post-harvest practices."

He said electron-beam irradiation should only be used as a final step in a comprehensive food safety program, and that reducing infection risks will translate to savings in health-care costs and reduced human suffering.


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Contact: Dr. Suresh Pillai
spillai@poultry.tamu.edu
979-845-2994
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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