The Board of Investments approved a P548.7-million project of Irradiation Solutions Inc., a new operator of essential services under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act and the 2020 Investment Priorities Plan.
The project is considered a qualified activity relating to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic under the IPP. It will utilize state-of-the-art electron-beam technology, technically known as Corad UELR-1015S-10 MeV Linear Accelerator. The project will be located in Tanay, Rizal and is expected to start operations by June 2023 with an initial 43 workers.
The facility targets to engage local importers, exporters and traders to use its technology. Users of the facility will be charged irradiation treatment fee using dry weight on kilogray units.
Irradiation is a recognized processing and preservation technique where food and non-food products are exposed to ionizing radiation such as gamma rays, x-rays or accelerated electrons from electron beam machines. Due to its low energies, products being irradiated do not become radioactive.
The technology is responsible for the reduction of microbes or decontamination, quarantine treatment, elimination of pathogens, sprout inhibition and sterilization.
Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said project would increase the food irradiation capability of the Philippines.
The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute operates the sole e-beam facility with a maximum annual capacity of only around 440 metric tons. ISI’s e-beam annual irradiation capacity of 25,000 MT will bring the national e-beam irradiation capacity to 25,440 MT a year.
“The project is aligned with the government’s COVID-19 response in building food resilience through the adoption of innovative technologies to reduce post-harvest losses and increase shelf-life of agri-fisheries products and food commodities. It will also promote much needed additional economic activity throughout the agriculture value chain through increased quality of production as well as enabling local products to be of export quality and thus be able to access wider international markets,” Rodolfo said.