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Jun 10, 2016 / 09:06

Fruits irradiated in Hanoi to help firms save 16 million VND per tonne

Director of the Hanoi Irradiation Centre Dang Quang Thieu said when fruits grown in the northern region are irradiated in the centre, fruit enterprises could save some 16 million VND per tonne, as they no longer have to transport them to the south for irradiation.

Irradiation is considered a safe technology that helps to kill all bacteria and microorganisms and keep fruit fresh for longer periods, even up to a few months. Key fruit importers such as Australia, Canada and the United States require fruit to be irradiated before entered the countries.
The upgrade of the Hanoi Irradiation Centre was approved last year, with funding of some 20 billion VND and inaugurated on April 22, 2016.
The centre, founded in 1986 under the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute, could irradiate some agricultural products such as onions, garlic and dried medicinal herbs, but it operated on a small scale and not professionally.

Photo for illustration
Photo for illustration
The upgrades, that consist adding a 200sq.m freezer storage unit, modern irradiation equipment and other technology, will permit the centre to irradiate fruit such as lychees and longans this year onwards, according to Director Dang Quang Thieu.
The centre's upgrades are expected to pave the way for more Vietnamese fruit of the northern region to reach overseas consumers.
The Director noted that if fruits grown in the northern region were irradiated in Hanoi, fruit firms could save some 16 million VND per tonne, as they no longer had to transport them to the south for irradiation. The centre can irradiate 10 tonnes of fruit daily, using techniques similar to those used in neighbouring countries.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said last year was the first year that Vietnam had sent lychees to the US and Australia, where require strict quarantine regulations on fruit. Besides, fruit firms in the north had to transfer their lychee crops to the south for irradiation treatment, thus increasing transportation costs. The upgraded Hanoi Irradiation Centre will help address the issue.
The irradiated fruits are also expected to attract domestic consumers who are consuming high-quality produce.
According to the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association, in 2015, total export revenue reached 1.85 billion USD for fruits and vegetables, increasing more than 24% over 2014.
Vietnam exported more than 40 kinds of fruits and vegetables to over 40 countries and territories. The major markets such as the US, Australia, the European Union and Japan have opened their doors to Vietnamese fruits such as longans, lychees and mangoes.