Mr. Philips Price
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what research work is being carried out in this country at the present time with regard to the sterilisation of food by high-intensity gamma radiation; and what practical results have now been obtained.138W
in research organisations controlled by him, respectively; and what were the figures on the same date in each of the last five years.
§ Mr. Bevins
As far as I am aware, no research work is at present being carried out in this country on the use of gamma radiation for sterilising food, but during the last five years the Food Investigation Organisation of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, in collaboration with industrial and other bodies, has been investigating the use of similar types of radiation, namely X-rays and high velocity electron beams. A 139W report is being prepared for publication and a close watch is being kept on all new developments. There are technical difficulties in the use of such radiations in industry. There is, moreover, uncertainty as to whether irradiated food can safely be eaten. There is in addition the question of the prevention of unpleasant flavours. No practical application of these methods of sterilisation can yet be expected.