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FEATURED ARTICLE: My visit to the Gateway America food irradiation facility in Gulfport, Mississippi; By Ronald F. Eustice
Oysters are arriving daily at Gateway America in Gulfport, Mississippi during the harvest season. 

We are reading more about food irradiation these days and much of that news is coming from Gulfport, Mississippi. 

USDA and FDA approvals, continuing outbreaks of foodborne illness and growing awareness of food irradiation as an effective phytosanitary treatment for imported fruit have generated rapidly growing interest in irradiation of food.

 My recent visit to Gateway America at Gulfport, Mississippi provided me with an overview of the opportunities to use irradiation as a food safety intervention, phytosanitary tool and as a technology to extend shelf life of perishable foods.

The receiving area at Gateway America in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Gateway America has cleared the path for overseas companies to export fresh produce to the US by using their facility as the headquarters for phytosanitary treatment to eliminate unwanted pests. 

Many countries, especially in Asia, already have irradiation facilities, however the USDA requirement that US inspectors be present in the country of origin when the produce is irradiated is a stumbling block. 

By having an irradiation facility at a US port of entry, foreign exporters can reduce expenses by eliminating the need for costly on-site inspection, a USDA/APHIS requirement. Gateway's ability to be a US country of origin treatment center to allow American farmers to export to other countries is another distinct advantage.


Two years ago, the USDA/APHIS certified Gateway America as a food irradiation treatment facility to eliminate unwanted pests in imported and exported fruits and vegetables.

"Since then, the growth has been dramatic," says Frank Benso, President of Gateway America. Gateway is also approved to irradiate red meat, poultry, oysters, crustaceans and certain other types of seafood to reduce harmful bacteria to non-detectable levels.

Irradiation reduces the deadly vibrio bacteria in oysters to non-detectable levels.

Gateway routinely irradiates oysters from the Gulf Coast; persimmons from South Africa, mangoes from Pakistan and a growing number of food items. Several additional items are on the immediate horizon.

Sales of Sharon fruit from South Africa are surging worldwide. All Sharon persimmons marketed in the US must be irradiated. Gateway America is the US irradiation service provider for South African fruit.

International interest in food irradiation is huge and growing. Ten countries have signed reciprocal trade agreements with the US for produce treated by irradiation for phytosanitary purposes, both import and export. More are pending.

Reciprocal trade agreements are signed with the understanding that both signatory countries are willing to receive products from each others countries. Recently Gateway has irradiated blueberries destined for India and the United Arab Emirates. Currently there great interest in the export of US produce to Mexico.

Consumers want imported fruit, but local farmers and government agencies don't want foreign pests that hitch-hike on the fruit and threaten our agriculture.

 At stake is the multi-billion dollar US produce industry. "Disaster is only one cargo container away," says Benso.

 Harmful pests such as weevils and borers hitch-hiking on imported fruit and vegetables could cost the produce industry billions.

Food irradiation is a required phytosanitary treatment for many commodities such as guavas from Mexico, dragon fruit from Vietnam, mangoes from India and Pakistan and many others.

Gray*Star's Genesis irradiation system and technology are key components of Gateway America's success.

Market Acceptance:

The volume of irradiated produce consumed in the United States has grown by over 400 percent since 2006. 

According to most recent available figures from the USDA, in 2012, over 27 million pounds of irradiated produce entered the US. Add an additional 12 million pounds of Hawaiian produce that must be irradiated as an entry requirement into the continental US; the annual total adds up to over 40 million pounds and is growing.

The Gateway America team with Ron Eustice, Food Irradiation Update editor

As more irradiated meat and produce becomes available at retail and food service, Benso believes consumers will be increasingly accepting of the process.

Omaha Steaks, Schwans and Wegmans have marketed irradiated ground beef since 2000 with negligible consumer
"push back."

The future is extremely bright for irradiation of meat and poultry.

Benso says,
"Irradiation will eventually become the preferred technology to enhance current Best Manufacturing Practices to make our food safer."

Recalls are the wake up calls to the industry and Benso believes that retail chains will eventually require processors to use irradiation on certain foods as the ultimate assurance of 'food safety.

Benso says,
"The benefits of irradiation for the elimination of "pests of concern" along with the elimination of harmful bacteria to "non-detectable" levels without altering the taste, nutritional values or appearance of the commodities we have irradiated are providing positive results and that word is spreading.... the future is here!"

Link to article...

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DHL (INDIA) makes gifting mangoes as easy as 1-2-3-....

Gifting mangoes is now easy with DHL
Announcement / Corporate

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Come this summer pamper your loved ones abroad with a box of delicious mangoes through DHL’s Express Easy Mango service, a unique one-stop-shop and hassle-free service for gifting mangoes all across the world.

This unique service by DHL Express, the world’s leading express company, allows customers to send mangoes from India across the world to the following countries Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, Italy, Luxemburg, Maldives, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Qatar Singapore, Switzerland and Sweden.

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