Food irradiation is the process of exposing foodstuffs to ionizing radiation, energy that is transmitted to the food without direct contact capable of stripping electrons from the food.This treatment is used to preserve food, reduce the risk of food borne illness, prevent the spread of invasive pests, and delay or eliminate sprouting or ripening. The radiation can be emitted by a radioactive substance or generated electrically. Irradiated food does not become radioactive. Food irradiation is permitted by over 60 countries, with about 500,000 metric tons of foodstuffs annually processed worldwide. Irradiation is also used for non-food applications, such as medical devices.Although there have been concerns about the safety of irradiated food, a large amount of independent research has confirmed it to be safe. One family of chemicals is uniquely formed by irradiation, and this product is nontoxic. When heating food, all other chemicals occur in a lower or comparable frequency. Others criticize irradiation because of confusion with radioactive contamination or because of negative impressions of the nuclear industry.The regulations that dictate how food is to be irradiated, as well as the food allowed to be irradiated, vary greatly from country to country. In Austria, Germany, and many other countries of the European Union only dried herbs, spices, and seasonings can be processed with irradiation and only at a specific dose, while in Brazil all foods are allowed at any dose.