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Role of Nuclear Technologies in Food System

Context: At the International Symposium on Food Safety and Control: FAO Director-General underscores the importance of nuclear technologies for measuring, managing and controlling food safety. It was organized by FAO and IAEA.

Role of Nuclear Technologies in Food System:

  1. Animal Health: PCR tests for rapid disease detection.
  2. Soil and Water Management: Use of radioactive nuclides to assess soil health and erosion rates.
  3. Insect Pest Management: Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for pest control. Mass-rearing and sterilizing insects through ionizing radiation before release.
  4. Food Safety and Control: Food irradiation to improve safety and extend shelf life by reducing/eliminating microorganisms and insects.
  5. Plant Breeding and Genetics: Inducing desired genetic changes via irradiation.
Nuclear Technologies in Food System
Food and agriculture

Key Initiatives:

  1. Global: Atoms4Food Initiative by FAO and IAEA; Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Technologies in Food System in Food system and Agriculture.
  2. India: Technology demonstration plants for irradiation: KRUSHAK at Lasalgaon, Nashik (low dose radiation); Radiation Processing Plant (RPP) in Navi Mumbai (high dose radiation); FSSAI’s Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Sixth Amendment Regulations, 2016, to align food irradiation rules with international standards.

 Source: FAO