The issue is that radiolysis products are easily detectable via taste, smell, and sight for most types of food at the doses that significantly prolong the shelf life. There is both pro and anti nuclear BS around, and in this case, the pro nuclear BS has this BS imagination where the radiolysis does not happen and bacteria easily dies. IRL, there are significant taste and smell issues at sterilizing doses. I don't have time right now but I'll add the references to attempted double blind trials where it was difficult to blind the trial due to readily detectable taste and smell issues. It was not even well identified what was causing the smell. Ultimately, it is a chemical food safety problem, similar to that of rancid fats. If you can taste that fats gone rancid, you pretty obviously shouldn't eat that, even if the rancidity was caused by radiation and you love the idea of irradiating the food. The pro-nuclear wingnuts have the anti-nuclear conspiracy theory where any expensive and not so practical nuclear technology, be it food irradiation or thorium reactors, are not being build because everyone else is afraid or something, rather than simple economic considerations. Dmytry (talk) 22:09, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
- It is mentioned on the page that foods with high fat content do taste bad after irradiation.
- As for the rest: there is no such thing as 'simple economic considerations'. The feasibility of food irradiation is directly dependent on whether people will buy such food. The feasibility of building new, experimental types of reactors is dependent on political and public support for such projects. Similarly, the expansion of renewable energy in Europe is not based on 'simple economic considerations', it is the result of government policy. --Tweenk (talk) 21:08, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Sowww.. what kind of radiation sources would the industry need to handle? Who is going to handle them?
There is nothing here on the strength and handling of the radiation sources. Compare various excesses of the food industry. (like this one)
Nor economic implications of expenses in handling; is it going to benefit larger companies more than smaller ones? Is the technology not inherently inaccessible to the general public? It may also make seeds less accessible if they're dead in the product. At least some of the woo is an (easily abused)proxy for that.
- This is an interesting question, how food irradiation is done industrially. (And who can you hire to irradiate your food if you're a producer.) Wikipedia says that the sites are very large and expensive. The UK Food Standards Agency says there's 1 site in the UK, "more than 20" in the rest of the European Union, and just 10 in the rest of the world. Although I can't find out which these sites are.
- There are various companies offering gamma ray sterilization (usually using Cobalt-60) for other purposes, such as medical instruments. In the US and UK food irradiation is very rare (maybe used for spices only) and perhaps companies don't want to admit to it. I found a Turkish company that does food irradiation, GammaPak, who use Cobalt-60 and have some info on their website.
- But it's certainly something that requires large premises, with definite economies of scale and risks of monopoly. If you have to ship fruits 100s of miles for irradiation, that's not ideal either for freshness or food miles. Annquin (talk) 10:49, 22 September 2016 (UTC)