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Food irradiation as a method of limiting crop loss in developing nations

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dc.contributor.advisor Jeffrey Coderre. en_US Parmar, Nishaal Jitendra en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering. en_US 2009-03-16T19:48:32Z 2009-03-16T19:48:32Z 2007 en_US 2007 en_US
dc.description Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering, 2007. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaf 31-34). en_US
dc.description.abstract Introduction: Introduction: The world today contains an estimated 6.7 billion humans, and our population is growing at an unprecedented rate, consuming an ever-increasing amount of global resources. According to United Nations projections, the majority of this growth will occur in the third-world nations of Africa, and, to a lesser extent, Asia, among those peoples least able to afford the increasing burden on their resources. Clearly, what is needed in these African nations in the near future are more efficient, low-cost methods of using those resources they already have. Foremost among the problems faced by African developing nations is a lack of a reliable, sufficient, and nutritious food supply. Much of the African population survives on malnourished diets irregularly supplied by subsistence agriculture. In addition, crop loss due to both pests and post-harvest spoilage is much higher than in first world nations, with cold-storage technologies and modem pesticides. Equally important are the lives lost each year to food-borne disease. In the United States alone, food-borne infections cause an estimated 76 million cases of illness and 323,000 hospitalizations annually, for an estimated annual treatment cost of $6.7 billion and a death toll of thousands. In developing nations, of course, these casualty figures are much higher. It is precisely this crop loss and food-borne disease which this thesis proposes to address, by both proposing and evaluating a method, namely, food irradiation, to diminish crop loss in African villages and small-towns. As stated by Fritz Kaferstein in the Journal of Public Health Policy, "In developing countries with warm climates, with non-grain staples, vegetables and fruits, the pos-tharvest loss is believed to exceed 50%. With commodities such as dried fish, insect infestation is reported to result in a loss of 25% of the product with an additional 10% lost due to spoilage. While not all of these losses can be prevented by food irradiation, the technology does offer unique potential to destroy insect infestation and reduce spoilage." en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Nishaal Jitendra Parmar. en_US
dc.format.extent 34 leaves en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Nuclear Science and Engineering. en_US
dc.title Food irradiation as a method of limiting crop loss in developing nations en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US S.B. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 301568994 en_US

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