Microbial profile of common spices and spice blends used in Tamale, Ghana
Irradiation has been shown to be an effective method for food decontamination. Spices irradiation is a process of exposing spices to ionizing radiation such as gamma rays emitted from the radioisotopes 60Co and 137Cs, or high energy electrons and X-rays produced by machine sources. The use of ionizing radiation to destroy harmful biological organisms in food is considered a safe, well proven process that has found many applications. Depending on the absorbed dose of radiation, various effects can be achieved resulting in reduced storage losses, extended shelf life and/or improved microbiological and parasitological safety of foods. The most common irradiated commercial products are spices and vegetable seasonings. Spice irradiation is increasingly recognized as a method that reduces post-harvest losses, ensures hygienic quality, and facilitates trade with food products. This article reviews activities focusing on the irradiation of spices from the food safety aspect.