Determination of the adverse effects of radiation on foods is an integral part in the development of a food system for a long-term space mission. An extended inter-planetary mission to Mars, as proposed by NASA, will require a five year shelf life for prepackaged foods for the return flight. Understanding the effects of adverse conditions to which these products will be exposed is necessary to enable development of high quality foods. Ionizing radiation is a primary concern not only for human health but also for food quality and functionality. Free radicals from this radiation participate in the initiation step of lipid oxidation. This oxidative process leads to the development of odors and off-flavors in the food matrix. One goal of this study is to quantify the extent of lipid oxidation and the effects on fatty acid profile caused by exposure to gamma-radiation. The second objective is to characterize the effects that gamma-radiation has on different antioxidants and their effective biological status. Antioxidants have been deemed an important part of the diet for long-term space travel due to the increased radiation exposure. Antioxidants are free radical scavenging compounds that may help negate some otherwise inevitable deleterious health effects. Antioxidants may also be incorporated into food product formulations where they can work alone or synergistically to reduce effects from free radicals and maintain product quality.
Related Documents:WM1, WM2, WM3, WM8
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Project 13 - Food Processing
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Internal Documents: Management: External Advisory
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