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Keywords:

  • irradiated;
  • food;
  • detection;
  • electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR);
  • electron spin resonance (ESR);
  • thermoluminescence;
  • chemiluminescence;
  • volatile hydrocarbons;
  • dodecylcyclobutanones;
  • o-tyrosine;
  • DNA

Abstract

The sale of irradiated food in the UK has been legal since the start of 1991 with the proviso that it must be labelled as such. At present there are no methods sufficiently accurate and reliable for the routine detection of irradiated food of all varieties. The current state of development of different physical, chemical and biological methods available is reviewed. These comprise electron paramagnetic resonance, luminescence, viscosity changes, detection of radiation-induced chemical species such as volatile hydrocarbons and o-tyrosine by chromatographic-mass spectrometric techniques, changes to DNA and changes in microflora.