Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/18/2005
Publication Date: 1/19/2006
Citation: Niemira, B.A., Fan, X. 2006. LOW-DOSE IRRADIATION OF FRESH AND FRESH-CUT PRODUCE: SAFETY, SENSORY AND SHELF LIFE. IN: Sommers, C., Fan, X., editors. Food Irradiation Research and Technology. Blackwell Publishing. p. 169-184. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: With increasing consumption of fresh and fresh-cut produce in the U.S., and increased market globalization, has come increasing concern over produce-associated food borne illness. Food borne illness outbreaks in the United States associated with contaminated fruits, vegetables, salads and juices have risen from less than 20 throughout the 1970's to more than 100 in the 1990's. New tools to ensure the safety of fresh and fresh-cut produce are required; low dose irradiation is one of the more promising of these. This chapter will present the latest research on how ionizing radiation acts to eliminate human pathogens from fresh and fresh-cut produce, when used singly or in combination with other treatments. The changes in shelf-life and storability for irradiated produce will also be discussed, as will its sensory properties. The overall goal is to use irradiation in a “best practices” approach to provide safe, high-quality fresh and fresh-cut produce to consumers.