Tushar Pawar,TNN | Jul 28, 2015, 05.44 AM IST
NASHIK: The irradiation centre of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Lasalgaon, about 70km from Nashik, has irradiated a record 328 metric tonnes of mangoes for export to the US in the current mango season. The centre had treated 295 metric tonnes of mangoes in the same period last year.
As per the US norms, it is mandatory to irradiate the king of fruits before is shipped off to the US. The Lasalgaon facility has capacity of treating around seven metric tonnes of mangoes in eight-hour shift.
Speaking to TOI, an official from the Agrosurg Irradiators India, said, "We had set a target of treating 400 tonnes of mangoes this year, but had to settle with 328 as the season ended earlier this year due to bad weather."
Meanwhile, the centre has applied for licence to treat cereals, pulses, spices and dry fruits."We already have a licence for irradiating vegetables and fruits. Now we have applied to the Department of Atomic Energy to get licenses for treating cereals, pulses, spices and dry fruits," the official said, adding that as the mango season is over, the centre is in the process of increasing its capacity from the present 200 kilo curies (kCi) to 290 kCi of cobalt. Earlier the capacity of Lasalgaon irradiation was 300 kCi which reduced over a period of time as operation picked up here.
The BARC had set up the irradiation centre known as Krushak- Krushi Utpadan Sanrakshan Kendra at Lasalgaon to treat agricultural commodities for their preservation in 2002.
The plant was dedicated to the nation by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on October 31, 2002. This irradiation facility at Lasalgoan is commercially operated by the Vasai-based Agrosurg Irradiators India Pvt Ltd.