Potatoes and garlic are the important agricultural products in Iran that are affected and damaged extensively during storage in warehouse because of sprouting and spoilage. Presently, to control the damages caused by storage, chemical substances should be replaced with healthier methods due to the harmful environmental impacts. One of the best methods in preventing sprouting and lowering damages is to use ionizing rays. For that purpose, a project was carried out in the Nuclear Sciences and Technology Research Institute for increasing the storage time of the two strategic foods; that is, potatoes and garlic, by using electron beam.
In this project, potatoes and garlic underwent radiation by electron beam at certain time intervals after harvesting. The irradiated products were then transferred to industrial and traditional warehouses for storage. In order to determine the effects of electron beams on increasing the storage life as well as the quality characteristics of the two products, samples were taken from both washhouses at different time intervals and several tests were performed accordingly. At the end of storage, the reduction in storage- associated wastes as well as the maintenance of quality and marketable characteristics of the stored products in both industrial and traditional warehouses with electron beam radiation were compared to the control products with no radiation treatment and it was clearly shown that using electron beam led to the storage of potato for nine months and garlic for 10 months with no signs of sprouting, along with reduction in wastes and maintenance of desirable quality and marketability characteristics.