The research team from the East Kalimantan Research and Development Agency has conducted research (in terms of) establishing a Gamma Irradiator facility for food preservation
Samarinda, East Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The Provincial Government of East Kalimantan has set Kariangau Village, West Balikpapan Sub-district, Balikpapan City, as a prospective location for food preservation through the irradiation method using either radioactivity or an accelerator.

"The research team from the East Kalimantan Research and Development Agency has conducted research (in terms of) establishing a Gamma Irradiator facility for food preservation," head of the East Kalimantan Research and Development Agency Fitriansyah noted in Samarinda on Saturday.

The stipulation was made following a study by institutions in the region: the Research and Development Agency, Regional Planning and Development Agency, and Regional Financial and Asset Management Agency.

One of the project's researchers, Yuli Fitrianto, accompanied him in furnishing details. Fitriansyah remarked that Gamma Irradiator was a facility that utilizes radiation sources to give gamma ray exposure to certain materials to increase the value of these materials.

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The radiation source used is electromagnetic waves of gamma rays that come from the radioisotope cobalt-60.

In food preservation, irradiation is conducted to prevent food from going bad as well as to remove harmful microorganisms from foods.

Food irradiation techniques have been approved in 50 countries. For decades, it has been used for commercial purposes in the United States, Japan, and several European countries.

He noted that in conducting market research, they collected data by taking an inventory of the products and the amount of production, distributing questionnaires, and interviewing food industry players on Kalimantan and Sulawesi islands.

Questionnaires were distributed to industries whose products could use some irradiation services to see how they perceive the idea of using the technology in their products.

"The survey results showed that 60 percent were interested in using irradiation technology for product preservation, 24 percent were unsure, and 16 percent were not interested," he explained.

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Respondents interested in using irradiation services expressed interest in their products to penetrate the global market, have more extensive reach in the markets, guarantee product quality, be hygienic, reduce the use of chemicals, and be able to extend product life.

On the other hand, respondents, who are unsure, said they needed to see the facilities and costs, depending on the order of the export country, did not really understand information on irradiation services, and were doubtful since it would make the product not as good.

"Meanwhile, respondents, who were not interested, had reasons, since the products sent were fresh products, so they did not require preservation, and some even had other sterilization methods," Fitrianto remarked.

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Translator: M Ghofar, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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