An Economic Analysis of Electron Accelerators and Cobalt-60 for Irradiating Food

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Morrison, Rosanna Mentzer (1989)
  • Subject: food irradiation, electron accelerators, cobalt-60, cost comparison, economies of size, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    mesheuropmc: health care economics and organizations

Average costs per pound of irradiating food are similar for the electron accelerator and cobalt-60 irradiators analyzed in this study, but initial investment costs can vary by $1 million. Irradiation costs range from 0.5 to 7 cents per pound and decrease as annual volumes treated increase. Cobalt-60 is less expensive than electron beams for annual volumes below 50 million pounds. For radiation source requirements above the equivalent of 1 million curies of cobalt-60, electron beams are more economical.
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