BUSINESS Chinese firms conduct trials of using radiation to kill coronavirus on cold food chain

BUSINESS

Chinese firms conduct trials of using radiation to kill coronavirus on cold food chain

Global Times

16:51, March 14, 2021

A staff member sprays disinfectant on the package of imported cold chain food at a regional cold chain center in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 7, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Chinese firms have conducted trails of using nuclear radiation to kill coronavirus on cold food chain, in a bid to improve the disinfection process on imports that have been found to carry the deadly virus - posing a serious risk for anti-epidemic and economic revival efforts around the world.

The tests were carried out by China Institute for Radiation Protection (CIRP) of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and three other companies and institutions, said CNNC on Saturday.

During the three-month experiment, research teams acquired a large amount of experiment data by disinfecting two stimulated coronavirus samples. The results showed that low doses of radiation can kill the sample virus without affecting food safety. The technique could be used in the disinfection of imported food packages and prevention of infections during big international sports events, according to CNNC.

CNNC said nuclear radiation disinfection is widely used in the health and medical industry for disinfecting medical equipment. More than 40 percent of medical equipment is disinfected by radiation in the US and European countries, and only around 10 percent in China.

The current disinfection method for coronavirus involves using a chemical reagent, which may be left on the objects, and ultraviolet rays, which are limited to the flat surface of objects. The radiation for disinfection will not be left on the items, and also has strong penetrating power for a deeper disinfection to the inside of food packaging, said CNNC.

Utilizing the latest nuclear related techniques of CIRP, China Isotope & Radiation Corporation (CIRC), NEUCTECH, and Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS), the program began in December 2020 and focused on imported cold chain foods.

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