Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) has granted approval for the application by the NSW Department of Primary Industries to expand food allowed to be treated with irradiation to include raspberries and blueberries. Presently the following foods are allowed to be irradiated up to a maximum dose of 1kGy:
- Tropical fruits - breadfruit, carambola, custard apple, litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, papaya, persimmon and rambutan.
- vegetables - tomato and capsicum.
- others - apple, apricot, cherry, honeydew, nectarine, peach, plum, rockmelon, strawberry, table grapes, zucchini and scallopini/summer squash.
The irradiation treatment is used as a phytosanitary measure against fruit fly and other regulated pests.
At present, food treated with irradiation must be labelled to tell consumers that it has been treated in this manner, but there is a further application before FSANZ to drop this labelling.
(FSC - Standard 1.5.3)
Proponents consider that irradiated food is ‘fresh’ as it does extend shelf life. However some consumers consider that food thus treated should no longer be termed ‘fresh’ as it has been processed.
For more information see FSANZ website Notification circular 26-16 dated 26th October, 2016
Elaine Attwood AM