With the recent publication in the UK of draft legislation referring to the introduction of food irradiation in 1991, the food industry, consumers and regulatory authorities have at last had the opportunity to assess the likely impact of this controversial new process. Food categories to be licensed for irradiation are based on those under discussion within the EEC, with some modifications of more direct relevance to the UK. In this article the technological justifications for food irradiation are examined, together with the possible applications within the permitted food categories.
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