A new ISO standard provides state-of-the art requirements for food irradiation, commonly used to improve quality and safety in food processing. The standard will benefit manufacturers, irradiation operators, regulators, customers and, ultimately, consumers.
ISO 14470:2011, Food irradiation – Requirements for the development, validation and routine control of the process of irradiation using ionizing radiation for the treatment of food, not only provides requirements, but also guidance for meeting them.
Food irradiation is the process where food is exposed to ionizing radiation in order to improve its safety and quality. It is intended to be used only on food that has been produced under good manufacturing practice (GMP) principles. The irradiation of food can be used for different purposes including control of pathogenic microorganisms and parasites, reduction of the number of spoilage microorganisms, inhibition of the sprouting of bulbs, tubers and root crops, extension of product shelf life or phytosanitary treatment.
The main objectives of ISO 14470:2011 are to:
- Provide requirements for the irradiation of food consistent with current standards and practices
- Provide directions for a technical agreement between the customer and the irradiator operator
- Establish a documentation system to support the controls on the food irradiation process.
Mariana Funes and Noelia Antonuccio, the two project leaders of the committee that developed the standard, comment: "ISO 14470 will contribute to confidence and transparency among the different stakeholders operating in the food sector and will help provide regulators and consumer representatives with improved information on products, enabling better choices.”
ISO 14470:2011, Food irradiation -- Requirements for the development, validation and routine control of the process of irradiation using ionizing radiation for the treatment of food was developed by Technical Committee ISO/TC 34, Food products. It is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 98 Swiss francs respectively through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department (see right-hand column).