July 18/Hyderabad, India/CNN-IBN -- Asserting that radiation processing of food is a universally accepted technology and used in scientific and commercial applications, CR Biswal, principal secretary, Industries and Commerce said the state government is keen to set up radiation processing technology units for food safety in Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati soon.

Speaking during a seminar on radiation processing technology for food safety and security organized by the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) in association with Gamma Agro-Medical Processing Ltd., Biswal said radiation processing technology improves food conservation and hygiene and enhances shelflife of food products for packing, storage, transport and distribution, he added.

Biswal said it is necessary that India explores the potential of the technology to ensure food security as well as enhance the share of food exports in the global market.

"The ministry of food processing industries and National Horticulture Board are providing financial assistance for setting up and modernizing processing units and creation of infrastructure and development of human resources in addition to other measures to encourage growth of the food sector," he added.

In his welcome address, VS Raju, president of FAPCCI, said food preservation is the need of the hour to have food supply throughout the year, particularly during crop failure, natural disaster and to supply to areas where it is not produced. "About 20-40% of our agriculture produce is lost due to spoilage by pests, insects and microbes. Microbial contaminants cause human illness and produce toxins which render food unsafe for consumption. Thus, the radiation technology is essential to preserve agricultural commodities and food products," he said.

From the July 18, 2011,Prepared Foods' Daily News.