Electron Beam Processing of Foods
Electron beam (eBeam) irradiation is one of the main three principal ionizing radiation techniques that are available to myriads of different industries including the food industry. A magnet focuses the generated beam of electrons in order to control the pattern in which the beam leaves the gun. Considering the source of energy, speed, cost, and safety, electron beam accelerators are becoming preferred to cobalt-60-based gamma ray food irradiation technology. The earliest type of irradiation introduced to the food industry was gamma irradiation in 1960 as an alternative method to canning. Although the original development of electron beam linear accelerators took place during the 1930s, it took some time for the technology to be commercialized. When adopting electron beam technology for food irradiation, one has to have a very clear idea of the primary goal of the application. The penetration of eBeam into food packages depends on the areal density of the package.