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Study shows electron-beam irradiation reduces virus-related health risk in lettuce, spinach

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A team of scientists studying the effects of electron-beam irradiation on iceberg lettuce and spinach has had its research published in the February issue of the leading microbiology journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, said the study’s lead investigator.

The study quantified the theoretical health-risk reduction from virus-related foodborne illness through the use of electron-beam irradiation.
“The purpose of this study was twofold,” said Dr. Suresh Pillai, director for the National Center for Electron Beam Research at Texas A&M University in College Station. “First we wanted to determine poliovirus and rotavirus sensitivity to electron-beam irradiation on fresh-cut lettuce and spinach. Secondly, we wanted to quantify the theoretical reduction in health risk of lettuce and spinach at different contamination levels and electron-beam doses.”

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