Irradiation technology could be used in killing coronavirus on cold chain food packaging: China National Nuclear Corporation
Published: Dec 17, 2020 11:45 PM

cold chain Photo:VCG

China National Nuclear Corporation and other institutions are researching irradiation technology to kill the coronavirus.

Earlier stage experiments have simulated conditions under which the virus is sensitive to irradiation. 

Over the last three months, a series of experiments have been carried out using two simulated coronavirus, and a large amount of data has been obtained. 

Simulations show that a lower radiation can kill the virus without affecting food safety. According to preliminary results of the study, the irradiation technology is expected to be used eliminate  the coronavirus on food packaging.

The China National Nuclear Corporation task force on coronavirus prevention will continue the study and improve technology that can be used to disinfect cold-chain food.

Irradiation technology has been widely used to sterilize food. Currently, chemical and ultraviolet light is used to disinfect food. However, chemical disinfectants may leave chemical reagents in food, and ultraviolet disinfection is only applicable on the surface of food packaging, according to the China National Nuclear Corporation.

Irradiation disinfection has greater penetrating power and is suitable for comprehensive virus-cleaning of a large number of cold chain foods.

Across the country, stricter measures regulating imported cold-chain products are now being implemented after successive reports of imported cold-chain food samples testing positive for COVID-19 in the past few months, with experts noting that such cases could pose a risk of another outbreak in China this winter. 

The city of Hefei, the capital of East China’s Anhui Province, became the first city to require buyers of imported cold-chain products to use their real-name identity. A number of cities including Beijing and Tianjin also launched new rules to regulate cold-chain food markets.

More than 40 cases of contaminated food packaging  have been reported in at least 16 provinces and regions, leading to infections in North China's Tianjin and East China's Qingdao. 

Global Times