What is ionizing sterilization?
It is the sterilizing process that employs a source of energy capable of ionizing the atoms in the molecules that constitute materials.
How does the ionization energy works on the sterilization process and microbial load reduction?
The ionizing radiation breaks the microorganisms DNA chain, killing them or rendering them incapable of reproducing themselves.
Do treated products become radioactive?
No, they don't. The ionizing radiation generated by the gamma ray, X ray and 10 MeV accelerators don't make the product radioactive.
In which case is e-beam technology indicated?
The process can be used to disinfect, decontaminate or sterilize different types of products in order to improve the safety of the treated product. It is also useful to improve the physicochemical and mechanical properties of certain materials. There are no restrictions to its application, but tests should be carried out in order to establish the correct dosage of energy to be applied to the product that is going to be processed. Due to its high penetration capacity, this technology is indicated for products from low to high density, allowing them to be treated inside their final packaging, no matter the number of package layers or the packaging geometry.
How does the e-beam technology work, and in what situation is it indicated?
The radiation process by e-beam facility, exposes the products to beams of accelerated electrons with high energy. The electrons lay downtheir energy on the products, causing the "molecule ionization", essential to achievethe expected result. The process can be used to disinfect, decontaminate or sterilize different types of products in order to improve the safety of the treated product. Another very important application of electron beams is material modification, as the reticulation reaction in polymers. The technology is more suitedfor processing products with low density.However, its suitability for products with other properties has also been demonstrated.
Which are the types of microorganisms and in which stages of their development are this technologies effective?
The technologies are effective for all kinds of micro and macroorganisms (insects) in any stage of development. Some microorganisms are more sensitive than others, and for this reason, tests should be carried out to obtain the correct energy dosage.

What is the ionizing radiation dose?

It is the amount of energy absorbed by the product being treated by ionizing radiation. The measurement unit is the KGy (Kilogray), which is determined by the time the product is exposed to the ionizing radiation.

Which are the criteria for defining the sterilization dose?

The definition of sterilization dosage is based on two criteria:
1. The information about initial microbial load for the product, i. e., the initial contamination
2. The expected result in terms of reduction of microbial load or sterility.

What is the ideal temperature for carrying out the process? Can frozen, chilled, or thermosensitive products be treated?

The processes normally don't result in high temperature changes. The temperature variation during the process is around 3ºC. All products can be treated normally. In the gamma ray process, there is no restriction.

Does the process generate any radioactive residues?

No radioactive residues are generated during the process.

Does the process require that treated products be put into quarantine?

No, it does not. The products can be used immediately after processing.

Can the product be treated inside its final packaging?

Yes. There are no package related restrictions.

Can processes be validated?

Yes. ISO 11137 is recommended.

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