BACKGROUND: The general use of food irradiation requires reliable identification methods as well as extensive quality characterization. Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) mushrooms, packed in polystyrene trays and covered with polyvinylchloride film, were investigated for dose-dependent identification and quality characterization upon gamma irradiation (0, 1, 2, and 3 kGy).
RESULTS: Thermoluminescence (TL) analysis of separated minerals provided excellent results to characterize the irradiated mushrooms. Low-dose re-irradiation (200-600 Gy), medium-dose re-irradiation (1-3 kGy) and high-dose re-irradiation (2-6 kGy) were performed and compared using an additive dose method. An electronic-nose analysis showed a difference in the volatile profiles of mushrooms following irradiation. One-kGy-irradiated mushrooms showed similar or better quality attributes to those of the control samples. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the dose-dependent degradation in microstructure of mushrooms upon irradiation.
CONCLUSION: An absorbed dosed estimation was possible using TL analysis in which 1-3 kGy re-irradiation technique gave most promising results. An E-nose analysis effectively distinguished the samples based on irradiation history. The best quality attributes were observed at 1 kGy irradiation. However, the drastic effects of irradiation were prominent in 2 and 3 kGy-irradiated mushrooms. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry