Irradiation is used to reduce or eliminate food spoilage, arrest maturation or sprouting, treatment against pests. Irradiation also destroys, slows-down or rendered incapable of reproduction of some or all of the pathogenic organisms, micro-organism, bacteria and viruses.
The Atomic Energy (Control of Irradiation of Food) Rules, 1996 defines Irradiation Food as-
“Irradiated food” means articles of food subjected to radiation by:-
- Gamma rays.
- X-rays generated from machine sources operated at or below an energy level of 5 million electron volts.
- Sub-atomic particles, namely electrons generated from machine sources operated at or below an energy level of 10 million electron volts, to dose levels as specified in Schedule I.
Conditions precedent for the issue of a licence
No licence for operating an irradiation facility shall be granted, unless the applicant obtains a Certificate of Approval from the Competent Authority, after submitting documents as specified in Schedule III to the effect that the facility is in conformity with the general conditions for design, operation and efficiency criteria as specified in Schedule IV.
An application for a licence shall be made to the licensing authority in Form I and shall be accompanied by:-
- A Certificate of Approval.
- Prescribed Fee payable in the form of a bank draft drawn in favour of the licensing authority.
If the licensing authority is satisfied that the applicant is capable of operating an irradiation facility in accordance with the rules, it shall issue a licence in Form IV.
If the licensing authority is satisfied that the applicant is not capable of operating an irradiation facility in accordance with the rules, it may, after giving the applicant reasonable opportunity of being heard against the proposed refusal of licence, by order setting out the reasons therein, refuse to grant the licence.
Every order refusing to grant the licence shall be communicated to the applicant, by sending a copy of the order by registered post to the address given in the application.
Central Government or such Officer or Authority directed by the Central Government.
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