Ionizing radiation has been used for many years to preserve foods by killing organisms in herbs and spices, sterilizing insects in dry foods, inhibiting germination, and prolonging shelf-life by eliminating the organisms on meat/poultry. Food that has been irradiated, typically, does not have a different texture, appearance, or taste. While this process offers health-related and economic benefits, there is concern that food irradiation is used to mask poor food quality and serve as a crutch to improper food handling and processing.
Many times, the label on the package is the only indication that a food was irradiated. Instead of relying solely on label information, techniques are utilized to confirm irradiation. Food Irradiation detection is important for quality control purposes to ensure a balance of benefits and a control of country specific legislation. Many techniques exist such as thermoluminescence (TL) technology is widely used as it is highly conclusive and reliable. Optical Stimulation (OSL) and PhotoStimulated Luminescence (PSL) are also widely used quick analysis tools for pass/fail decision making.