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ABSTRACT

Broiler chickens were irradiated by Cobalt-60 at a commercial irradiation facility at dose levels of 0.0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 kGy at 3.0°C. Regression analyses indicated more than 99% of the microbial load on the whole carcass was eliminated at doses ranging from 1.5 to 2.0 kGy. Fatty acids were not affected except for palmitic which showed a decrease and oleic acid which showed an increase. Both of those changes were significant. Results indicate gamma irradiation of chicken at 2.0 kGy or more using commercial irradiation substantially reduced bacterial loads.