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Health protection and food preservation by gamma irradiationResults of several major studies on food systems for space missions beginning with Apollo 12 through Apollo-Soyuz and investigations of the application of irradiation to food for manned space flight are reported. The study of flight food systems involved the application of radurization (pasteurizing levels) doses of gamma irradiation to flour and bread supplied by Pepperidge Farms in advance of the missions. All flights from Apollo 12 through 17 carried irradiated fresh bread. On Apollo 17, cooperation with Natick Laboratories permitted the introduction of a ham sandwich using irradiated bread and irradiated sterile ham. Investigations centered on irradiated bread were conducted during the course of these missions. Studies were applied to the concept of improving fresh bread from the point of view of mold inhibition. The studies considered how irradiation could best be applied at what levels and on a variety of bread types. Throughout the studies of the application of gamma irradiation the emphasis was placed upon using low levels of irradiation in the pasteurizing or radurizing doses--under a Megarad. The primary goal was to determine if a public health benefit could be demonstrated using radurization along with food preservation and food quality improvements. The public health benefit would be parallel to that of pasteurization of milk as a concept. Publications are included providing the details of these observations, one dealing with the flour characteristics and the other dealing with the influence on fresh bread types. These demonstrate the major findings noted during the period of the studies examining bread.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Date Acquired
September 3, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1976
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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