Oil seeds are among the major food commodities that can be affected by
microorganisms, which are produced by a particular type of mold.
Ionizing radiations are also used to reduce pathogen propagation when
trading these products.
Methods: To investigate the effect of gamma irradiation and storage on quality of shelf-life of sunflower seed, samples of the seeds obtained from the market have been irradiated under 3, 6, and 9 kGy of gamma radiation and stored for 12 months.
Results: The results indicate that, all used doses of gamma irradiation had no significant (p<0.05) effect on moisture, ash and total sugar, while 6 kGy and 9 kGy had a significant (p<0.05) effect on protein, reducing sugar and oil content of sunflower oil. Along with the increase in the dose of irradiation, both bacterial and fungal count of the samples reduced to the undetectable limit after irradiation with 3 and 9 kGy respectively. Both total acidity and total volatile basic nitrogen increased significantly (p<0.05) with increasing the dose of irradiation and the storage time. Sensory evaluation showed that texture, flavour and texture were not affected significantly (p<0.05) by irradiation, while colour parameter was increased significantly (p<0.05) by irradiation.
Conclusion: Gamma irradiation could arrest microorganisms contamination of sunflower seeds, while maintaining the quality, as judged from proximate constituents, chemical properties and sensory evaluation.