Food Structure

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About a decade ago two luminescence techniques, thermoluminescence (TL) and chemiluminescence (CL), were first described as methods for the detection of irradiated spices. It has now been established that the CL method can be used to screen only certain foodstuffs for irradiation. The TL method, instead, has been developed for clear identification of foods irradiated with at least 1 kGy and contaminated by minerals. The method is therefore suitable for a wide range of foodstuffs and it has been applied by laboratories for routine control. The latest findings prove that even irradiation with very low doses used to inhibit the sprouting of potatoes and onions can be clearly detected. In addition to CL and TL, other luminescence techniques which were described as suitable to detect irradiated food, i.e. the photo-stimulated luminescence and the H20 2-stimulated CL, are briefly reviewed.

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