How is radiation used in agriculture

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Ionizing radiation applied to food, for example, can kill potentially harmful microbes, preventing foodborne illnesses. Food irradiation also prevents the spread of insect pests and is used to guarantee trade of fruits and vegetables across quarantine boundaries – a fast-growing commercial application.Mar 30, 2021


How do we use radiation in agriculture?

Radioactive isotopes can also be used to study the characteristics in the soil to monitor uptake and use of essential nutrients by plants from the soil. [2] By using the radioactive isotopes as a tag, scientists can measure the exact nutrient and water requirements of a crop in particular conditions.


How does radiation affect agriculture?

The agricultural industry makes use of radiation to improve food production and packaging. Plant seeds, for example, have been exposed to radiation to bring about new and better types of plants.


Why do agricultural workers use radiation?

For years, food irradiation has been used to improve food safety and increase the shelf life of produce. It does so by killing microorganisms and pests that cause illness and rot, all without leaving any residual radiation behind.


Is radioactivity used in agriculture?

For example, radioisotopes and controlled radiation are used to improve food crops, preserve food, determine ground- water resources, sterilize medical supplies, analyse hormones, X-ray pipelines, control industrial processes and study environmental pollution.


How is radiation used in fertilizer?

About Radioactive Material from Fertilizer Production Phosphate rock contains the mineral phosphorus, an ingredient used in some fertilizers to help plants grow strong roots. Phosphate rock contains small amounts of naturally-occurring radionuclides, mostly uranium and radium.


How are radioactive substances used in food production?

Food irradiation is a form of food processing that can extend shelf life and reduce spoilage. Foods are exposed to radiation to kill insects, moulds and micro-organisms, but no detectable levels of radiation are left behind in the food.


How is nuclear chemistry used in food and agriculture?

Agriculture uses nuclear chemistry and radioactive isotopes to: Develop varieties of hardier, more disease-resistant crops. Improve the nutritional value of crops. Pinpoint where illnesses strike animals, allowing the breeding of disease-resistant livestock.


What is nuclear power in agriculture?

Nuclear technology in agriculture is the process of using radiation to change the characteristics of genes in plants, seeds and organisms. The radiation changes the properties of crops in order to sustain life and full cultivation.


How does nuclear energy affect agriculture?

Nuclear technologies are playing a big role in the development of agricultural technologies, helping farming communities increase crop production, control pests and diseases, and improve water quality.


What is Nuclear Agriculture?

Nuclear technology in agriculture is the process of using radiation to change the characteristics of genes in plants, seeds and organisms. The radiation changes the properties of crops in order to sustain life and full cultivation.


What are the advantages of radioactive isotopes?

Radioactive isotopes have many useful applications. In medicine, for example, cobalt-60 is extensively employed as a radiation source to arrest the development of cancer. Other radioactive isotopes are used as tracers for diagnostic purposes as well as in research on metabolic processes.


How is radiation used to control insect populations?

Radiation is used to control insect populations via the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). This involves rearing large populations of insects that are sterilised through irradiation (gamma or X-rays), and introducing them into natural populations.


How does ionizing radiation affect plants?

Ionising radiation to induce mutations in plant breeding has been used for several decades, and some 3200 new crop varieties have been developed in this way. Gamma or neutron irradiation is often used in conjunction with other techniques to produce new genetic lines of root and tuber crops, cereals, and oil seed crops. New kinds of sorghum, garlic, wheat, bananas, beans, and peppers have been developed that are more resistant to pests and more adaptable to harsh climatic conditions. Countries that have used plant mutation breeding have frequently realized great socio-economic benefits: 1 In Mali, irradiation of sorghum and rice seeds has produced more productive and marketable varieties. 2 In Bangladesh, new varieties of rice produced through mutation breeding have increased crops three-fold in the last few decades. During a period of rapid population growth, the use of nuclear techniques has enabled Bangladesh, and large parts of Asia in general, to achieve comparative food security and improved nutrition. 3 In Namibia, mutation breeding has produced seeds of the country’s most important crops – cowpea, sorghum, and pearl millet – that have yields increased by 10-20%. The new varieties are more resistant to drought, temperature stress, and pests – essential attributes in Namibia’s difficult growing environment. 4 Across many IAEA member states, coffee plants are threatened by a fungal disease known as coffee leaf rust. The IAEA, together with the FAO and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), is training scientists from the plant’s principal growing region, South America, to implement plant mutation breeding.


How to control insects and pests?

Increased awareness of the adverse effects of significant pesticide use on public health and the environment has led to efforts to control insects and pests via alternative methods. Radiation is used to control insect populations via the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). This involves rearing large populations of insects that are sterilised through irradiation (gamma or X-rays), and introducing them into natural populations. The sterile insects remain sexually competitive, but cannot produce offspring. The SIT technique is environmentally-friendly, and has proved an effective means of pest management even where mass application of pesticides had failed. The IPPC recognizes the benefits of SIT, and categorizes the insects as beneficial organisms. SIT is distinct from classical biological control ( e.g. augmentation), offering a series of desirable differences:


Why is it important to use fertilisers?

It is important that as much of the fertiliser as possible finds its way into plants and that a minimum is lost to the environment.


What is irradiation used for?

Radiation is also used to sterilise food packaging. In the Netherlands, for example, milk cartons are freed from bacteria by irradiation.


What is the purpose of the IAEA and FAO?

The IAEA and FAO are working together with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission to standardize worldwide use of irradiation for foodstuffs. In addition to inhibiting spoilage, irradiation can delay ripening of fruits and vegetables to give them greater shelf-life.


Can you use irradiation on food?

More than 60 countries worldwide have introduced regulations allowing the use of irradiation for food products including spices, grains, fruit, vegetables, and meat. It can replace potentially harmful chemical fumigants that are used to eliminate insects from dried fruit and grain, legumes, and spices. Following three decades of testing, …


What is radiation used for?

Today, to benefit humankind, radiation is used in medicine, academics, and industry, as well as for generating electricity. In addition, radiation has useful applications in such areas as …


How does radiation help the environment?

Similarly, radiation is used to help remove toxic pollutants, such as exhaust gases from coal-fired power stations and industry. For example, electron beam radiation can remove dangerous sulphur dioxides and nitrogen oxides from our environment.


Why do we need to use x-rays?

In irradiation, for instance, foods, medical equipment, and other substances are exposed to certain types of radiation (such as x-rays) to kill germs without harming the substance that is being disinfected — and without making it radioactive.


How do archaeologists determine the age of fossils?

Archaeologists also use radioactive substances to determine the ages of fossils and other objects through a process called carbon dating. For example, in the upper levels of our atmosphere, cosmic rays strike nitrogen atoms and form a naturally radioactive isotope called carbon-14.


How do scientists use nuclear materials?

Universities, colleges, high schools, and other academic and scientific institutions use nuclear materials in course work, laboratory demonstrations, experimental research, and a variety of health physics applications. For example, just as doctors can label substances inside people’s bodies, scientists can label substances that pass through plants, animals, or our world. This allows researchers to study such things as the paths that different types of air and water pollution take through the environment. Similarly, radiation has helped us learn more about the types of soil that different plants need to grow, the sizes of newly discovered oil fields, and the tracks of ocean currents. In addition, researchers use low-energy radioactive sources in gas chromatography to identify the components of petroleum products, smog and cigarette smoke, and even complex proteins and enzymes used in medical research.


How many nuclear procedures are performed in the US each year?

In addition, hospitals and radiology centers perform approximately 10 million nuclear medicine procedures in the United States each year. In such procedures, doctors administer slightly radioactive substances to patients, which are attracted to certain internal organs such as the pancreas, kidney, thyroid, liver, or brain, to diagnose clinical conditions.


What is a computerized X-ray machine?

X-ray machines have also been connected to computers in machines called computerized axial tomography (CAT) or computed tomography (CT) scanners. These instruments provide doctors with color images that show the shapes and details of internal organs.


How are radioisotopes used in agriculture?

Till now radioisotope and radiation are being more widely used in the field of agriculture than any other field of science and their application is leading us to the solution of agricultural problems in a shorter time and more precisely. Radioisotope and radiation give us the opportunity to clear the events that once were mysterious in the growth and nutrition of plants and evolution of new varieties by creating genetic variability. In addition to this, radioactive tracers and radiation sources have become indispensable to all the agricultural research problems. In agriculture, radiation and radioisotopes are also used in the nutritional studies of trace elements, mechanism of photosynthesis, plant protection including action of insecticides, metabolisms in plant, uptake of fertilizers, ions mobility in soils and plants and food preservation. Thus, radioisotopes and radiation have contributed tremendously to fulfil the need of mankind such as food and agriculture, health and medicine, energy production, environmental protection etc. The role of radioisotopes and radiation in the cause of human being has been well -established. However, their application in some other fields have not been fully realized. This article briefly describes the role of radioisotopes and radiation in the field of agriculture.


What is the role of radioisotopes in agriculture?

Till now, radioisotopes are being more widely used in the field of agriculture than in any other field of science and their application is leading us to the solution of agricultural problems in a shorter time and more precisely.


How have radioisotopes increased?

The production of radioisotopes by nuclear reactors and other atomic installations have increased the use of radioisotopes in the field of agriculture . In order to clarify the basic knowledge related to nutrition of plants by using radioactive elements and radiation sources, investigations have been made on soil fertility, nutrient absorption by plants, speed of absorption and regional accumulation of nutrients inside the plants, relationship between fertilization and plant growth, soil moisture content and micro nutrients and their functions in plant.


What are the advantages of using radioisotopes in agriculture?

Application of radioisotopes and radiation sources in agricultural research has especially the following advantages: 1. With the help of radioisotopes we can easily locate the presence of a single atom and molecule and their movement.


Why are radioisotopes important?

Radioisotopes and radiation give us the opportunity to clear the events that once were mysterious in the nutrition and growth of plants and evolution of new varieties. They help us to clear the causal factors which produce ill-effects to the plants in different ways. Thus radioisotope has become a very important aid to scientists dealing with the solution of agricultural problems. In addition to this, radioactive tracers and radiation sources have become indispensable to all the intricate agricultural research problems. Because of their availability, X-rays, thermal neutrons, fast neutrons and cobalt-60- gamma rays are employed as radiation sources for irradiation of seeds.


What is the use of radioisotopes as tracer tools?

The use of isotopes as tracer tools is unquestionably one of the most significant peacetime applications of atom, on which we will have particular and continuing utility in agricultural and biological research. To the world today, these new tools are unlocking the secrets of many agricultural problems which could never have been possible by conventional means. Scientific research is being conducted all over the world putting radioisotope and radiation into use with successful scientific achievements. Till now, radioisotopes are being more widely used in the field of agriculture than in any other field of science and their application is leading us to the solution of agricultural problems in a shorter time and more precisely.


What are the benefits of nuclear reactors?

At present, the radioactive isotopes and radiation that have become available as by-product of nuclear reactors are of greater importance to agriculture. Their contributions to food and agriculture is indirect, but nevertheless of immense potential.


How are radioisotopes used in agriculture?

Radiations and radioisotopes are used in agricultural research to induce genetic variability in crop plants to develop improved varieties, to manage insect pests, monitor fate and persistence of pesticides, to study fertilizer use efficiency and plant micronutrient uptake and also to preserve agricultural produce. Use of radiation and radioisotopes in agriculture is one of the most important fields of peaceful applications of atomic energy for societal benefit and BARC has contributed significantly in this area especially in the development of new mutant crop varieties and food irradiation for enhancing food safety, reduce post harvest losses, enhance shelf life and as a quarantine measure for enabling international trade in food and agricultural commodities.


What is sterile insect technique?

Sterile insect technique (SIT) is gaining importance as an ecofriendly approach for the control of insect pests (D’Souza,2007). SIT includes mass rearing of target insect, inducing sexual sterility with radiation in adults (especially males) without affecting their mating vigour and competitiveness and release of such sterile adults in overwhelming number in natural population. This process limits the reproductive ability of natural population and brings down the insect population to a manageable level or even can eradicate completely. At BARC, attempts have been made to study SIT for controlling red palm weevil, potato tuber moth and spotted bollworm of cotton. Pheromones and bio-pesticides have also been developed for use in integrated pest management.


What kind of radiation does a food irradiator use?

Currently, food irradiators use one of three kinds of radiation: gamma rays (from cobalt-60 sources) , electron beams, or x-rays. All three methods work the same way. Bulk or packaged food passes through a radiation chamber on a conveyor belt.


Why is food irradiation important?

Food irradiation can be used to protect agriculture from the import of invasive pests such as insects and worms. The radiation kills or sterilizes pests, preventing new bugs from infecting crops.


How does ionizing radiation affect bacteria?

The ionizing radiation sends enough energy into the bacterial or mold cells in the food to break chemical bonds. This damages the pathogens enough for them to die or no longer multiply, which reduces illness or spoilage.


How does irradiation affect food?

Irradiation can alter slightly the flavor of some foods. The change is like the way pasteurization alters the taste of milk.


Does food irradiation stop aging?

botulinum bacteria, but cannot remove the toxin produced by C. botulinum. Food irradiation can slow, but does not stop, fruit and vegetables from aging. Aging can lower their nutritional value, taste and flavor.


Does irradiation remove food dangers?

However, food irradiation cannot remove all food dangers: Irradiating food does not get rid of dangerous toxins that are already in food. In some cases, the bacteria themselves are not dangerous, but they produce toxins that are.


How does irradiation affect the health of animals?

Animal feed also can contain Salmonella. Irradiation can prevent the spread of these bacteria to livestock. Food irradiation slows down the aging of foods such as fruits and vegetables by delaying sprouting.


Who regulates the radiation used to irradiate food?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating the sources of radiation that are used to irradiate food. The FDA approves a source of radiation for use on foods only after it has determined that irradiating the food is safe.


How does food irradiation work?

Food irradiation (the application of ionizing radiation to food) is a technology that improves the safety and extends the shelf life of foods by reducing or eliminating microorganisms and insects. Like pasteurizing milk and canning fruits and vegetables, irradiation can make food safer for the consumer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating the sources of radiation that are used to irradiate food. The FDA approves a source of radiation for use on foods only after it has determined that irradiating the food is safe.


Why do we need to store irradiated food?

Irradiated foods need to be stored, handled, and cooked in the same way as non-irradiated foods, because they could still become contaminated with disease-causing organisms after irradiation if the rules of basic food safety are not followed.


What is the FDA requirement for irradiated foods?

The FDA requires that irradiated foods bear the international symbol for irradiation. Look for the Radura symbol along with the statement “Treated with radiation” or “Treated by irradiation” on the food label. Bulk foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are required to be individually labeled or to have a label next to the sale container.


Which organization has endorsed the use of irradiated food?

The World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have also endorsed the safety of irradiated food.


How are X-rays produced?

X-rays are produced by reflecting a high-energy stream of electrons off a target substance (usually one of the heavy metals) into food. X-rays are also widely used in medicine and industry to produce images of internal structures.


What element is used to emit gamma radiation?

Gamma rays are emitted from radioactive forms of the element cobalt (Cobalt 60) or of the element cesium (Cesium 137). Gamma radiation is used routinely to sterilize medical, dental, and household products and is also used for the radiation treatment of cancer.

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  • Plant mutation breeding is the process of exposing the seeds or cuttings of a given plant to radiation, such as gamma rays, to cause mutations. The irradiated material is then cultivated to generate a plantlet, which is selected and multiplied if it shows desired traits. A process of marker-assisted selection (or molecular-marker assisted breeding)…

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