Effect of food irradiation

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Effect of food irradiation

Postby nehaj » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:41 am


I am working on my science fair project on effects of food irradiation. I was looking to study the effect of irradiated food on the longevity and reproduction of fruit flies. I wanted to find out what food media to provide and how to irradiate the foods. Also I am wondering about the feasibility of the project.

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Project Question: Is it possible to irradiate foods w/o a lab? Pros and cons?
Project Due Date: 11/25/13
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Re: Effect of food irradiation

Postby SciB » Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:43 am

Hi Neha,

Irradiation requires an Xray machine or gamma ray source such as the radioactive form of cesium, Cs137. Unless you have access to these, i don't see how you can do food irradiation experiments. It is a very interesting project, however, and i wonder if you could find food that has already been irradiated that you could buy to test.

When i raised fruit flies, we made a food medium by cooking cornmeal, molasses and a couple of other ingredients. The larvae ate that, laid their eggs, and the flies emerged a couple weeks later. To do your experiments, you will have to find something that was irradiated that fruit fly larvae will eat and compare it to the same food that was not irradiated.

Does some looking online for sources of irradiated meals and see what you can find. Ideally, you should use the same food medium just with or without irradiation, but unless you can find some lab that will let you use their radiation source, you won't be able to do that.

Let me know what you find out and we will help you to do the experiments that you want to do.

Best regards,

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