Food irradiation is a technique of exposing food to ionizing radiation for enhancing the shelf life and food safety by lowering or halting the growth of microorganisms along with also lowering the risk of food-borne diseases. Radiation does not make food items toxic, alter the quality, taste, or texture of food or impair its nutritional benefit in any noticeable way. Any modification made by irradiation is so gentle that it is difficult to tell whether a food has been irradiated or not.
Sterilizing food is really high in demand from patients suffering from chemotherapy or AIDS. Such food assists in boosting immunity by aiding in improving physical strength. Also, the rising cases of food poisoning owing to the high consumption of adulterated meals will further drive the global market. However, it has led to the implementation of complete food testing techniques and legislations, which in turn will steer the growth of the global food irradiation market. However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic globally has significantly scaled the market expansion manifolds.
The complex combinations of food preservation strategies and irradiation methods have significantly become popular globally in recent years. However, the adoption of a combination of the latest technologies lowers utilization of the energy while still halting the growth of various bacteria and spoilage microbes, which in turn will enhance the quality of final products. Synergizing the effects of integration of all the latest technology to alter refrigeration, freezing, packaging, and heating atmosphere with irradiation are promising, thereby escalating its demand globally.
The global food irradiation market can be segmented into technology, source, and region.
By technology, the market can be segmented into ozone treatment, food coating, steam pasteurization, ultra-high pressure, and other technologies. The ozone treatment segment dominates the global food irradiation market due to the fact that ozone water kills microbes and also eliminates the requirement for personnel to handle the premixed harsh chemicals for sanitization. In addition, it does not leave any residue upon contact because ozone again converts to oxygen.
By source, the market can be segmented into electric beam radiation, X-ray radiation, and gamma radiation. The gamma radiation segment accounts for the largest share in the global food irradiation market due to its growing popularity due to the high reliability, effectiveness, and enhanced safety in eliminating and detecting contaminants in food.
Asia Pacific accounts for the largest share in the global food irradiation market due to the growing demand for processed and clean label foods. The growing economies like China and India are likely to foresee exponential growth in the forthcoming years. However, the growing stringent regulations regarding food safety standards will further accentuate the growth of the regional market.
North America is expected to witness significant growth in forthcoming years due to the presence of prominent market leaders in the region.
Some of the significant players in the global food irradiation market are Tacleor LLC., Phytosan SA De C, Scantech Sciences Inc., Steris Isomedix Services, Sadex Corporation, Reviss Services Ltd., Nordion Inc., Ionisos SA, Gray Star Inc., Sterigenics International Inc., and Food Technology Service Inc. To cite, Scantech Sciences in April 2017 started building its first Electronic Cold Pasteurization (ECP) food treatment center. ECP is a non-nuclear isotope method of irradiation.