The Board of Investments (BOI) has recently approved the project of IRRADIATION SOLUTIONS INC. (ISI) as a New Operator of Essential Services under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act and the 2020 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) under all qualified activities relating to the Fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to BOI, ISI will invest a total of P548.7 million in constructing and operating a commercial irradiation facility (Tanay Multipurpose Irradiation Facility) using an Electron-Beam Technology, technically known as Corad UELR-1015S-10 MeV Linear Accelerator. The project will be located in Tanay, Rizal and with operations expected to start by June 2023, it will employ up to 43 people.
The target customers and clients of this project will be the local importers, exporters and traders. The project will earn its revenue through irradiation treatment fee charge by pesos/dry weight depending on required dose on kilogray units (kGy).
Irradiation is a recognized processing and preservation technique wherein 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. This technology is responsible for the reduction of microbes or decontamination (among spices, herbs, cosmetic raw materials), quarantine treatment (fruits and vegetables), elimination of pathogens (frozen/chilled meat), sprout inhibition (onions, garlic, potatoes) and sterilization (in medical devices, packaging, bone grafts). One advantage of this technology is that products can be treated in its final package form; hence, the products will no longer be opened in the facility before and after the irradiation treatment.
The project will increase the food irradiation capability of the Philippines. At present, the only e-beam irradiation facility of the country is owned/operated by Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) with a maximum annual capacity of only around 440 metric tons (MT). With ISI’s e-beam capacity of 25,000 MT annually, the national e-beam irradiation capacity will be increased to 25,440 MTPY.
“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 will as enabling local products to be of export quality and thus be able to access wider international markets,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.