Is it safe to eat potatoes produced with gamma rays? 

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question “Is it safe to eat potatoes produced with gamma rays?”. As well, we will discuss what are potatoes, what is food irradiation, how food irradiation advances the safety of foods, and other concerns about food irradiation.  

Is it safe to eat potatoes produced with gamma rays? 

Yes, it is safe to eat potatoes produced with gamma rays. The technology of food irradiation doesn’t turn foods radioactive and improves the quality of the potatoes. 

What is food irradiation?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), food irradiation is a technology that uses ionizing radiation to advance safety and increase shelf life. The use of this technology doesn’t turn the foods radioactive. 

How food irradiation advances the safety of foods?   

Food radiation uses ionizing radiation with gamma rays, which can destroy or decrease the number of insects and the loudness of microorganisms, making the food safer for human consumption.  

How regulates food irradiation?

FDA is the federal agency responsible for the regulation of the origin of radiation in the US, which can change by country, but it usually is a federal or local authority that rules the technology of food irradiation.  

Why is the use of the technology of irradiation in foods?

Irradiation is a great technology that interrupts the cell division of microorganisms and insects, resulting in their destroyer. Below you can see more curiosities about the use of irradiation in foods, according to the FDA.  

  • As the irradiation destroys pathogen microorganisms like Escherichia coli and Salmonella, assists to prevent foodborne illness;
  • As the irradiation destroys or inactivates deteriorate microorganisms, assists to increase the shelf life of foods;
  • As the irradiation destroys insects, assists in avoiding chemical pesticides that can contact the food;
  • Irradiation results in retard of sprouting and ripening of legumes and fruits, extending their durability;
  • As the irradiation destroys microorganisms, the technology is also used for sterilization resulting in foods that could be stored for a long time off the refrigeration.  

What is foodborne illness?

Foodborne illness can occur when humans eat food contaminated with microorganisms, such as bacteria, parasites, viruses, and also chemicals like heavy metals. The contamination of food can happen in any part of the manufacturing food, also in shipping and commerce. To know more, click here.  

How does food irradiation work?

Nowadays, just three origins of radiation are allowed for use on foods by the FDA. Below you can check the three origins of radiation in foods.

  • Gamma rays originated from the element cesium or the element cobalt. Their use is common in dental, medical, and household sectors to sterilize products;
  • X-rays originated from the exorbitant-energy stream of electrons. Their use is common in medicine;
  • Electron beam is like x-rays.     

What types of food are irradiated?

FDA has allowed the use of irradiation in many different foods in the U.S. The World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also validated the safety of this technology. Below are some types of food.

  • Crustaceans, such as shrimp, crab, and lobster;
  • Spinach and lettuce;
  • Beef and pork;
  • Seeds;
  • Shell eggs;
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits;
  • Molluscan, such as clams, scallops, and oysters;
  • Seasonings and spices.  

Does irradiation change the taste of food?

No, this technology doesn’t change the taste, the texture, and the color of foods, as well as doesn’t leave any residue in foods, and is safe for consumption.   

Can I know if I bought irradiated food?

Yes, you can know. FDA requires that all foods that have been irradiated need to put the international symbol of irradiation on the food label, as also to affirm “Treated by irradiation” or “Treated with radiation”. The international symbol is a Radura, click here to check the symbol. 

Where can I buy irradiation food?

You can find irradiation food in big grocery stores. Just look for the Radura symbol on the food label, but for some individuals fruit and vegetables, maybe the statement of food irradiation can be next to the sale box. 

What is a recipe for potatoes?

As potatoes are consumed worldwide, you can find many recipes on the internet. If you click here, you will check a complete recipe for creamy au gratin potatoes, the total time of preparation and cooking takes 2 hours. 

Other FAQs about Potatoes that you may be interested in.

How to store red potatoes

How to store peeled potatoes overnight?

Can you cook jacket potatoes in an air fryer?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have discussed the question “Is it safe to eat potatoes produced with gamma rays?”. As well, we have discussed what are potatoes, what is food irradiation, how food irradiation advances the safety of foods, and other concerns about food irradiation.  

References 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato Accessed: 05/02/2022

https://www.fda.gov/food/buy-store-serve-safe-food/food-irradiation-what-you-need-know Accessed: 05/02/2022 

https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-you-asked/food-irradiation-dangerous Accessed: 05/02/2022

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.