Application of a thermoluminescence method for the detection of irradiated spices

S. Gastelum, I. Osuna, R. Melendrez, E. Cruz-Zaragoza, V. Chernov, T. Calderon, M. Barboza-Flores, Y. S. Horowitz, L. Oster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Food irradiation is extremely effective at reducing food-borne illness as well as losses caused by infestation and contamination. Despite the well-established regulations that permit irradiation to control pathogens in spices, there are no widespread methods to detect previously irradiated food. Therefore, it has become necessary to develop new detection and dose determination methods for food subjected previously to irradiation. The present work deals with the application of the thermoluminescence (TL) phenomenon to detect irradiated spices. The process is based upon the thermoluminescence properties exhibited by the polymineral content of the irradiated specimen. After separating the organic material, it is possible to extract some polymineral substances that are suitable for thermoluminescence analysis due to interaction of the spice to ionising radiation. The method was successfully applied to examine irradiated and non-irradiated paprika of Mexican origin. The spice was irradiated with gamma rays at doses of 5, 10 and 15 kGy. The separated thermoluminescent polymineral was found to be composed mainly of quartz and feldspar. TPe thermoluminescence glow curve of the irradiated specimen shows a wide band peaked 228, 268 and 336°C, resembling closely the combined TL of quartz and feldspars. The method allows for the determination of the retrospective dose exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-140
Number of pages4
JournalRadiation Protection Dosimetry
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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