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  5. 5. Fast radiation screening of food products

Supporting Everyday Living

5. Fast radiation screening of food products

  • Measures radioactive content of filled rice bags in just 15seconds
  • Shielded design for optimums measurement accuracy
  • Suitable for all types of food

Rising demand for food radioactivity screening systems

In response to concerns about radioactivity of produce following the Great East Japan Earthquake the Food Sanitation Act was amended in April 2012 to lower the maximum allowable radioactivity dosage.
Conventional radioactivity testing requires crushing of food samples in a process that takes several hours to determine the specific type of radioactive substance. This is considered too slow to be feasible for testing large volumes of agricultural produce at the point of shipment.

Belt conveyor radioactivity testing system


Hitachi Zosen supplies a variety of products and systems used by food manufacturers to guarantee the safety and hygiene standards of their products, including filling and packaging lines and video recording systems for production lines. The ASUKA HTX-100 belt conveyor radioactivity screening system is a joint development with Techno X Co., Ltd. that combines the technical expertise of both companies.
The system screens radioactive cesium levels in rice bags as they pass through the unit, without the need to open up the rice bags. The ASUKA HTX-101 also features lead shutter shielding to prevent any adverse impact from external radiation on screening systems.

ASUKA HTX-101 in operation

15 seconds to analyze a rice bag

Working demonstrations in
Fukushima prefecture

The ASUKA HTX series employs a belt conveyor for continuous operation, and takes approximately 15 seconds to analyze radioactivity content in a 30-kilogram rice bag. The ASUKA HTX-101 then scans the barcode, affixes an inspected sticker to the bag, prints the test results and grades and outputs the bag.
Demonstrations of the system have been held in various locations around Fukushima prefecture, which has suffered from public perceptions of radioactivity in agricultural produce, showing how it can be used to screen new rice shipments.

Amendment to the Food Sanitation Act

In April 2012, the maximum radiation dosage in foodstuffs containing radioactive matter was lowered from 5 millisievert to 1 millisievert and a new threshold for radioactive cesium in food was added. The new threshold replaces provisional thresholds for food radioactivity imposed by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare following the Great East Japan Earthquake, and is designed to promote confidence in food safety and security.