Every exported fruit stored at the Quarantine Office will be irradiated by the nuclear agency
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Agriculture Ministry's Quarantine Office (Barantan) employs irradiation technology devised by the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) to increase the shelf life of exported fruits, including mango and dragon fruit, from a fortnight to 3-18 months.

"Gincu Mango (Mangifera indica) and dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) are some that have been irradiated, and they will be shipped to Australia on October," Totti Tjiposumirat, BATAN's Isotope and Radiation chief, stated here, Monday.

For instance, gamma irradiation will help get rid of mango pulp weevil (Sternochetus frigidus) to extend the shelf life of the local Gincu mango and make it fit for export to global markets, he elaborated.

Doses of irradiation below 0.5 kiloGrays (kGy) will help to entirely eliminate weevil without compromising on the quality or altering the fruit's taste. Tjiptosumirat affirmed that the irradiated fruit is also safe for consumption.

Tjiposumirat noted that in a month, the Quarantine Office and Nuclear Agency will irradiate at least eight tons of Gincu mangoes.

"Every exported fruit stored at the Quarantine Office will be irradiated by the nuclear agency," he remarked.

Tjiptosumirat stated that apart from fruits, the irradiation tech might also be applied to increase the shelf life of several exported packaged foods, including slow-cooked meat with spices and coconut milk (rendang), smoked milkfish (bandeng presto), and meat or chicken stew (semur).

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Translator: Martha Herlinawati S/Genta Ten
Editor: Sri Haryati
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