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Many countries, in order to authorise the use of food irradiation, claim the availability of methods to detect the occurred treatment in addition to the respect of safe use of this technology. Among physical methods, the electron spin resonance (ESR) measuring the number of free radicals that are formed during irradiation can be applied only to those foods with cellulose, a crystalline or bone structure, in which free radicals have a shelf life greater than irradiated product. The aim of this study was to highlight an irradiation treatment in European and extra-European foods marketed in Southern Italy by the means of ESR technique. Furthermore, in order to optimise the preparation procedures the efficacy of the above mentioned method in fish scales experimentally irradiated has been evaluated. From February to September 2012, a total number of 83 samples of food products of animal and plant origin were taken at the border inspection post and at retail market and finally analysed. At the same time, the scales of grouper and barracuda have been experimentally irradiated at 0.5 kGy and were subsequently analysed using ESR. Results showed 5 frog legs out of 83 samples positive for treatment and confirm the applicability of ESR also for fish scales.
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