In recent times, Food irradiation is widely used in order to preserve food. Consider the following statements with this reference:
1. Food irradiation can also be used to delay or eliminate sprouting or ripening
2. Cobalt-60 is the most commonly used radionuclide for food irradiation
3. Food irradiation generally turns the food material radioactive
Which among the above is / are correct statements?

Answer: [A] Only 1 & 2

Food irradiation is the process of exposing foodstuffs to a source of energy capable of stripping electrons from individual atoms (ionizing radiation). This treatment is used to preserve food, reduce the risk of food borne illness, prevent the spread of invasive pests, and delay or eliminate sprouting or ripening. The radiation can be emitted by a radioactive substance or generated electrically. Irradiated food does not become radioactive. Cobalt-60 is the most commonly used radionuclide for food irradiation. However, there are also large cesium-137 irradiators and the Army has also used spent fuel rods for irradiation.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module