Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Plants, Soils, and Climate

Department name when degree awarded


Committee Chair(s)

D. K. Salunkhe


D. K. Salunkhe


L. H. Pollard


R. L. Hurst


W. S. Boyle


Through the ages, people have been confronted with the problem of storing food after the harvest season for consumption during the winter months. Foods have been preserved by dehydration, canning, and refrigeration. However, people usually prefer fresh vegetables become unfit for human consumption as a result of sprouting and breakdown in storage.

Some chemicals have been used with various degrees of success in preventing sprouting of certain vegetables. The chemicals were applied as a pre-harvest foliar spray or directly on the tubers or on the roots.

In 1954, a law was passed by the United States Congress authorizing the release of small amounts of radioactive materials to study the peaceful uses of atomic energy. Since that time, many institutions have been awarded grants and contracts to work on various phases of food preservation by atomic energy. Through this program, the investigators at the Utah State University have been studying certain methods of extending the "shelf life" of fresh vegetables and fruits by gamma-rays.

The investigations presented in this thesis are of preliminary and general nature. They were mainly concerned with effects of the dose and the rate of gamma radiation on sprout inhibition, chemical, histological, and sensory quality changes in carrots and potatoes when stored at different temperatures. In addition, studies were conducted to combine the thermal and the radiation treatments with the assumption that the "threshold" radiation dose may be lowered. The application of the work presented herein constitutes a new approach to the problems of vegetable preservation. The success of this new field will depend upon improved methods and techniques in handling the material and the economics of the gamma-ray source.



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