Food Irradiation and Radiation in Healthcare impacting Human Lives.

Food Irradiation and Radiation in Healthcare impacting Human Lives.

January 15, 2020 2 By William Morgan


Fission is the process in which a heavy mass
nuclei breaks up into two or more lighter nuclei. But the applications of Nuclear Science and
Radiation Technology is not only limited to Nuclear Energy, but it also has diverse applications
all throughout the sciences, agriculture and healthcare. Two of the major applications which can directly
impact human lives are Food Irradiation and Radiation in Healthcare. Radiation in Healthcare. It is estimated that nearly one-third of the
food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets wasted. Indian farmers incur $13 billion per year
in post-harvest losses. The hot and humid climate of India is quite
favourable for the growth of numerous insects and microorganisms that destroy stored crops
and cause spoilage of food. However, Food irradiation is a technology
that calls for shining beams of energy, such as X-rays, gamma rays or electron beams and
can be utilized for inhibition of sprouting, delayed ripening, disinfestations, extension
of shelf life, and elimination of pathogens etc. which cause post-harvest losses. This process does not lead to loss of flavour, odour, texture, and freshness. Unlike chemical fumigants, irradiation does
not leave any harmful toxic residues in food and is more effective. Food irradiation promises to offer an effective
means for minimizing these losses. Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases in
India and its burden has more than doubled over the last 26 years. Over 8 lakh people die from cancer every year and this number is expected to increase. With time, cancer has increasingly come to
be understood as a lifestyle and an environmental disease with several causal pathways. Another interesting application which can
reduce these numbers is Radiation in Healthcare. Not only radiation, like X-rays and gamma
rays; help in early diagnosis of cancer but it also helps in diagnose of broken bones,
disease and function study of heart, brain etc. To kill the cancer cells, the therapy can
be performed using implanted or injected radioisotopes or externally located sealed radioisotopes
for radiotherapy. Radiation has impacted medical science in
a big way. Scans like X-ray, CT can show the disease
and body organs physically. But scans like PET and SPECT can show their
functions as well. These modalities can be used for various treatments
like angiography, angioplasty as well as for treatment of various cancer modalities, for
example, you take thyroid cancer management. Now these procedures, let me tell you, they
are completely safe and are there in the health industry since many decades. See, irradiated food is totally safe. In the last 50 years, we have generated a
lot of food data on the safety aspect of Food Irradiation and it is totally safe. It is basically on purpose base, for what
purpose you want to process the food item by radiation. Like in India, there are food irradiators,
like in Bombay, they are doing spices, mango, onion and potato. Specially mango is exported to various countries
after irradiation and for indigenous consumption we are doing spices, onion and potato.