Food irradiation can be described as the process of destroying microorganisms found in food by exposing it to ionization radiation. In most cases, food irradiation is done with an aim of preserving food for a longer time or delaying ripening especially in horticultural products that are meant to be transported over a long distance. However, there are pros and cons that are associated with irradiation as a way of eliminating microorganisms in food products.
To begin with, food irradiation has been found as one of the ways that can be explored in eliminating food crisis. This is as a result of the fact that food irradiation can be employed as a way of preserving food for longer periods of time, especially when the harvest is plenty. This food can then be utilized during seasons of inadequacy. In line with this, food can be transported from one part of the world where it is in plenty to other parts that don’t have food since it is in a state of preservation (Alters, 199, p.15).
Food irradiation has also been employed as a perfect method of dealing with disease causing microorganisms in the society. As a result, it is easier for the society to eliminate certain diseases since the microorganisms that cause these diseases can be eliminated through irradiation of this food. In this regard, food irradiation enhances the sanitation of the food system in the world (Alters, 1999).
Despite the fact that food irradiation has advantages to human beings across the world, there are disadvantages that are associated with it. There have been arguments that food irradiation has in the past worked as a cover up of poor sanitations conditions under which food is prepared. In addition, the radiation mechanisms that are used pose a great threat to the employees in an irradiation plant and the surrounding environment if these radiations find their way into the environment (Alters, 1999, p.15). In this regard therefore, whereas food irradiation has great advantages to mankind, the consequences that accompany it if appropriate measures are not taken may be devastating both to human beings and the surrounding environment.