Ionization radiations are used to ensure food safety and quality. This irradiation process uses ions of beta or gamma rays to inactivate or destroy the food spoilage pests, microorganisms and their toxins without significantly increasing the temperature of the treated product. Meanwhile, various intrinsic and extrinsic factors are involved in determining the efficacy of ionization irradiation against these organisms. Therefore, the dose of radiations is recommended according to the type of irradiation, substrate and microorganisms. However, controversies are surrounding the use of irradiations in the food industry due to a negative perception of irradiations. This manuscript described the use of ionization radiations to control the foodborne biological hazards and increase shelf life. Firstly, the characteristics and mode of action of irradiations were discussed. Secondly, the role of extrinsic and intrinsic factors influencing the radioresistance of biological hazards were elaborated. This literature review also detailed the differential effects of irradiations on different microorganisms and pests having a role in food safety and deterioration. Finally, the regulatory status and the consumer values along with the controversies surrounding the use of ionization irradiations in the food sector were explained.
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