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The Malaysian Nuclear Agency says a method, which involves the process of exposing final food products to a controlled amount of gamma radiation, can destroy harmful bacteria and keep food, especially raw products and fruits, from spoiling. — File pic
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KUALA LUMPUR, June 25:
The food irradiation process, which uses nuclear technology, is the best alternative method to increase food quality and safety, according to the Malaysian Nuclear Agency (MNA) director-general Datuk Dr Muhamad Lebai Juri.
He said the method, which involved the process of exposing final food products to a controlled amount of gamma radiation, could destroy harmful bacteria and keep food, especially raw products and fruits, from spoiling.
“The process is usually done for preservation, decontamination and quarantine purposes, as it could destroy bacteria in food products meant for export,” he said after opening the Food Safety Seminar 2014 here today.
However, he said some people were still confused about the whole irradiation process as it involved nuclear technology.
As such, Dr Muhamad said irradiated food was safe for consumption as the process did not leave any trace of radioactive materials in food products.
He added the safety of irradiated food had been recognised and guaranteed by international agencies, such as the World Health Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organisation in over 60 countries including Malaysia.
Dr Muhamad said research to determine the suitability of the irradiation method to be done on local food products had been carried out by MNA researchers, with cooperation from other agencies, since 1980.
The Health Ministry had also approved the sale of irradiated food products in the country under the Food Irradiation Regulations 2011, which took effect from October 2013.
He added food exporters in Malaysia were also encouraged to make optimum use of the method to meet the rising foreign demand for local food products.
The fourth edition of the two-day Food Safety Seminar organised by MNA and Malaysian Radiation Protection Association began today.
It is aimed at discussing irradiation-related issues to provide greater understanding and change the public perception on the irradiation method.
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