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Table 12 Food irradiation technologies [98]

From: A review on mechanisms and commercial aspects of food preservation and processing

Factors Electron beam X-Ray Gamma ray
Source Accelerated electrons, typically 5–10 MeV Induced by impingement of electron beam onto a metal plate. Conversion efficiency is 5–10% Radioactive decay of Co-60 (2.5 MeV) or Cs-137 (0.51 MeV)
Processing time Seconds Seconds Minutes
Penetration 6–8 cm, suitable for relatively thin or low-density products 30–40 cm, suitable for all products 30–40 cm, suitable for all products
Shielding for operator >2 m concrete or 0.7 m steel/iron/lead >2 m concrete or ~0.7 m steel/iron/lead >5 m water or > 2 m concrete or 0.7 m steel/iron/lead