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Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh says, Gamma irradiation technology for food preservation has already been shared with private players


New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said Gamma irradiation technology for food preservation has already been shared with private players and presently 26 Gamma Radiation Processing Plants are operational in the country in private, semi government and government sector for irradiation of various products.

In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha regarding reforms proposed in the atomic sector recently by the Finance Minister as a part of PM’s ₹ 20 lakh crore package, the Minister said, Gamma irradiation technology is used for inhibition of sprouting in bulbs and tubers, insect disinfestation of cereals, pulses and grains, microbial decontamination (hygienization) of dry spices etc. for preservation/shelf life extension by applying pre-determined radiation doses.

Setting of food irradiation facilities in the PPP mode certainly mitigates the huge quantum of post-harvest and storage losses of agricultural produce and food that results in national saving. However, reduction of food wastage will depend on various aspects such as post irradiation storage, total quantity of irradiated food products and time lapse between irradiation and distribution to users.

The Minister listed the following reforms related to Atomic Energy proposed by Hon’ble Finance Minister, Govt. of India on 16.05.2020:

(i) Establishing Research Reactor in PPP mode for production of medical isotopes to promote welfare of humanity through affordable treatment for cancer and other diseases.

(ii) Establishing Facilities in PPP mode to use irradiation technology for food preservation.

(iii) Linking India’s robust start-up ecosystem to nuclear sector by setting up Technology Development-cum-Incubation Centres for fostering synergy between research facilities and tech-entrepreneurs.


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