Nuclear Radiation Safety on Eden Traditional Japanese Foods

3rd Aug 2012

21 November 2011 Update from Mr. Jonathan Solomon, Managing Director, Executive Vice President, and Manager of Purchasing at Eden Foods.

Eden Foods continues to use Eberline Analytical in Oak Ridge, Tennessee for radionuclide testing of our Japanese food supply.

Testing Methodology

Gamma Spectroscopy is the appropriate testing methodology for detecting radionuclides that are the atomic source of radiation.

Eberline tests for gamma emitting radionuclides for us. Eberline uses a radionuclide library that has every common, and many not so common, gamma emitting radionuclides.

During gamma spectroscopy, Ebeline evaluates all energy peaks within the spectra to make sure all are identified and quantified.

Testing Equipment

The testing equipment used at Eberline is high purity germanium detectors (N-type) that measure all gamma photo emission energies present between 40-3000 keV. Their detectors are connected to a Canberra multi-channel analyzer system that is calibrated to energy per channel for nuclide identifications.

The gamma spectroscopy software is Canberra also.

Radionuclide Identification

Eberline usually identifies just the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi typical (semi-volatile and volatile) from the reactor accident:

  • Cesium-137
  • Cesium-134
  • Iodine-131

Eberline has communicated to Eden that if they identify any others they will note and identify them in their Eden Foods' reports additionally.

Set Standard

Eden Foods has yet to set a standard for radionuclides, but all Japanese foods Eberline has been testing for us have had a stringent maximum quantitative level of Becquerel units (bq) of 25/kg.

Information provided by World Health Organization (WHO) and FDA is spotty and in our opinion provides far too much tolerance. Eden Foods' approach to this has been, and remains, a zero tolerance level confirmation.

WHO and FDA standards:

  1. For Infants levels have been set at
    55 bq/kg for Iodine 131
    370 bq/kg for Cesium 134 and Cesium 137

  2. For Adults levels have been set at
    300 bq/kg for Iodine 131
    370 bq/kg for Cesium 134 and Cesium 137

These numbers are a bit confusing as the cumulative effect of radionuclides seems to be the concern of WHO and FDA, rather than any one time exposure.

New Crop

Eden Foods continues to vigilantly test all of our Japanese foods on an on-going basis. We have increased the testing of Japanese foods that have been grown and harvested this year:

  • Umeboshi - plums, paste, concentrate, vinegar & plum balls
  • Rice Products - Nori Maki, Arare, Mochi, Brown Rice Vinegar
  • Lotus Root - slices, and tea powder
  • Tea - Sencha, Genmaicha, Kukicha, & Hojicha
  • Daikon - Takuan and shredded
  • Mushrooms - Maitake & Sliced and Shredded Shiitake
  • Wasabi
  • Sea Vegetables

Thus far, as of November 17th. We have not detected any radionuclides in our Japanese Foods!

  • Shiitake mushroom supply base has been moved to Kyushu.
  • Brown Rice Miso moving to Kyushu.
  • Organic Tea supply base will no longer include Shizuoka prefecture where there has been radiation detected in tea by others.

We continue to follow the same strict procedures for scanning incoming containers to our warehouses. This not only ensures the foods we are bringing to our warehouses are safe, but that they are safe to be around our employees.

I am confident that the laboratory, test frequency and redundancy, and procedures we have in place are protecting our Japanese food supply base and product line, and that this is being regularly confirmed and reconfirmed.

Jonathan Solomon, Managing Director