Webinar: Food Irradiation - an underutilised technology
Tuesday August 31st, 2021, 1.00 – 3.00pm (AEST)
The application of ionising radiation to food is a technology that improves the safety and extends the shelf life of foods by reducing or eliminating microorganisms and insects.
In Australia irradiation is now approved for use to control the spread of pests like fruit fly on a wide range of fresh produce. In other countries it is also approved for use in the elimination of pathogens like Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli or to prolong shelf life.
When food is irradiated, it is exposed to ionising radiation from gamma rays, high-energy electron beams, or x-rays. These rays are like microwaves, and pass through the food just like in a microwave, but do not heat up to any significant extent.
Irradiation has been used to keep food safe since the late 1950s and is one of the most extensively studied methods of food processing. Research from around the world has continually shown that it is safe.
It has been examined thoroughly by FSANZ and other food safety agencies internationally, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and most recently the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Join our panel of food industry experts as the explore the use of this technology and provide an update on the latest with food irradiation.
Nick Macleod - Director, Tropical Fruit & Market Access RD&E Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Topic: Horticulture Research Footprint
Nick Macleod is currently the Director of Tropical Fruit and Market Access RD&E within the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. He leads a $12M pa portfolio of R&D focussed on Market access, Banana production systems and a range of tropical fruits including mangoes, lychees papaya & cocoa. Nick has spent over 30 years in the overall development of horticulture industries in policy, supply chain, export, RD&E, production systems both within and outside government.
Peter Leach - Market Access Focus Team Leader, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Forestry (QDAF)
Topic: Phytosanitary irradiation - An Australian Perspective
Over 25 years’ experience in fruit fly research and currently leads both preharvest and postharvest market access teams for the Queensland Government. His team have successfully developed export protocols using both chemical (insecticides and fumigants) and physical (heat, cold and irradiation) treatments in a range of tropical and subtropical crops.
Peter is the Chairman of the United Nations /FAO Phytosanitary Measures Research Group has recently been appointed to the International Plant Protection Commission technical panel which is responsible for approving treatment schedules for global trade.
Luisa Trevisan - Standards and Surveillance, FSANZ
Topic: Food Irradiation - FSANZ’s assessment of fruits and vegetables treated with ionising radiation
Luisa Trevisan is a member of the Standards and Surveillance Section at Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). She has held numerous positions at FSANZ over a 20-year career, taking the opportunity to broaden her experience and knowledge in the areas of food composition, food monitoring and surveillance programs, strategic science and international, and labelling. In her current role Luisa is a project manager/risk manager for applications and proposals to amend the Food Standards Code. Luisa has project and risk managed a range of applications covering processing aids, food additives, novel foods and, most recently, the irradiation of fruit and vegetables as a phytosanitary measure.
Peter Roberts - Rad Services
Topic: Irradiation of Food: Versatile, Effective, Under-utilized
Peter was a scientist and manager of the nuclear sciences section of the New Zealand DSIR and later the Geological and Nuclear Sciences institute. His role was to advise on the biological effects of radiation. He was New Zealand’s focal point for international developments in food irradiation, being the NZ representative on many international committees and research projects. He is now a consultant. He has worked with the IAEA to develop business skills in nuclear institutes in developing countries and as an expert on food irradiation. He advises industry, research groups and government agencies on food irradiation.
Topic: Creating commercial solutions: research, regulation, and infrastructure
Ben is the fresh produce manager for Steritech, Australia’s irradiation service provider. In his role he has helped bring industry and government together to better utilise phytosanitary irradiation as a biosecurity control. The success of phytosanitary irradiation for Australia’s produce industry is helping other food industries envisage new potential for the treatment.
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