Radiation processing has been employed successfully for value addition of food and agricultural products. Preliminary studies were undertaken to evaluate the changes induced by ionizing radiation (up to 30 kGy), in the form of gamma irradiation and electron beam irradiation, on some quality attributes and nutritive values of nutraceutically valued lotus seeds. Significant loss in seed firmness was recorded between control and irradiated seeds, irrespective of radiation source. Similarly, the specific viscosity of irradiated lotus seeds decreased significantly up to a dose of 7.5 kGy. Starch increased after exposure to gamma or electron beam irradiation, whereas the total phenolic contents were decreased. Gamma irradiation revealed an enhancement in protein, while the electron beam showed a decrease. Partial oxidation of the seeds during radiation treatments might have occurred as evidenced from the decomposition profiles (thermogravimetry) during heating. It is evident that ionizing radiation brought about significant and variable changes in the quality and nutritive values of lotus seed. Further exploration of this technology for safety and quality is warranted.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.