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Identification of irradiated dried fruits using EPR spectroscopy

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The dominating carbohydrates in fruits are monosaccharides like fructose, glucose, sorbose and mannose. In dehydrated fruits, concentration of monosaccharides is higher than in fresh fruits resulting in the formation of sugar crystallites. In most of dried fruits, crystalline fructose, and glucose dominate and appear in proportion near to 1:1. Irradiation of dried fruits stimulates radiation chemical processes resulting in the formation of new chemical products and free radicals giving rise to multicomponent EPR signal which can be detected for a long period of time. For that reason, it is used as a marker for the detection of radiation treatment of dried fruits. It has been found that EPR spectra recorded in dried banana, pineapple, papaya, and fig samples resemble the EPR spectrum obtained by computer addition of fructose and glucose spectra taken in proportion 1:1. The decay of radiation induced EPR signals proceeds in dried fruits fast during the first month of observation and becomes much slower and almost negligible after prolonged storage. However, it remains intense enough for EPR detection even one year after processing. The radiation induced EPR signal is easily detected in dried fruits exposed to 0.5 kGy of gamma rays. Thus, the EPR method of the detection of irradiated fruits can be used for the control of dried fruits undergoing quarantine treatment with 200-300 Gy of ionizing radiation.
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