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Task Book: Biological & Physical Sciences Division and Human Research Program
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Project Title:  Effect of space radiation on the nutrition and quality of the food Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2009 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 10/01/2007  
End Date: 08/31/2009  
Task Last Updated: 09/21/2009 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Perchonok, Michele  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  Program Science Management Office 
2101 NASA Road 1, Mail Code SF411 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: michele.h.perchonok@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-483-7632  
Congressional District: 22 
Web: http://hefd.jsc.nasa.gov/aft.htm  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Project Information: 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Woolford, Barbara  
Center Contact: 218-483-3701 
barbara.j.woolford@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Food:Risk of Performance Decrement and Crew Illness Due to an Inadequate Food System
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) AFT02:How can the nutrition and acceptability of the food system be maintained throughout the mission? (This Gap has been merged with AFT4, per IRP Rev E)
Task Description: It is vital that food sent up into space for long durations maintain its nutritional and sensorial quality throughout the length of the mission. One major source of nutritional and sensorial quality loss during a long duration mission is ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation has been used as a food safety aid for over a century now and research supports its effectiveness in reducing numbers of foodborne pathogens, extending shelf life and controlling pests. Most of these studies have used gamma rays (mostly from Cobalt-60, but also Cesium-137), high-energy electrons/electron beans or x-rays. This radiation has been applied mostly on the kiloGray doses since these levels provide the most microbial lethality. There is considerably less research available that studies the effects of low-dose radiation on the properties of food. NASA radiation experts estimate that on a 30 month mission to Mars, food will come in contact with no more than 5Gy of radiation. This objective of this study was to perform a literature search on effects of low dose radiation on food quality. Much of what is published in the literature uses doses considerably higher than 5Gy and it can be assumed if there is no significant difference of radiation at the kiloGray level, on certain components or properties of food, there will be no noted difference in these attributes at lower doses.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: 0

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2009 
Task Progress: This objective of this study was to perform a literature search on effects of low dose radiation on food quality. Much of what is published in the literature uses doses considerably higher than 5Gy and it can be assumed if there is no significant difference of radiation at the kiloGray level, on certain components or properties of food, there will be no noted difference in these attributes at lower doses.

Overall, it is safe to say that radiation encountered at doses typical for a Mars mission is not prohibitively high to render the food supply inadequate given than space radiation at equivalent doses acts like gamma or electron bean radiation sources. However, research would be necessary to understand how actual space radiation, not just electron or gamma radiation, affects food in order to better predict and prepare countermeasures to these effects. Currently, there are no studies that have examined the effects of space radiation on food or how this type of radiation differs from more conventional types used for safety.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 01/30/2012)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2009
Project Title:  Effect of space radiation on the nutrition and quality of the food Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2008 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 10/01/2007  
End Date: 08/31/2009  
Task Last Updated: 09/17/2009 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Perchonok, Michele  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  Program Science Management Office 
2101 NASA Road 1, Mail Code SF411 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: michele.h.perchonok@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-483-7632  
Congressional District: 22 
Web: http://hefd.jsc.nasa.gov/aft.htm  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Project Information: 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Woolford, Barbara  
Center Contact: 218-483-3701 
barbara.j.woolford@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Food:Risk of Performance Decrement and Crew Illness Due to an Inadequate Food System
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) AFT02:How can the nutrition and acceptability of the food system be maintained throughout the mission? (This Gap has been merged with AFT4, per IRP Rev E)
Task Description: It is vital that food sent up into space for long durations maintain its nutritional and sensorial quality throughout the length of the mission. One major source of nutritional and sensorial quality loss during a long duration mission is ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation has been used as a food safety aid for over a century now and research supports its effectiveness in reducing numbers of foodborne pathogens, extending shelf life and controlling pests. Most of these studies have used gamma rays (mostly from Cobalt-60, but also Cesium-137), high-energy electrons/electron beans or x-rays. This radiation has been applied mostly on the kiloGray doses since these levels provide the most microbial lethality. There is considerably less research available that studies the effects of low-dose radiation on the properties of food. NASA radiation experts estimate that on a 30 month mission to Mars, food will come in contact with no more than 5Gy of radiation. This objective of this study was to perform a literature search on effects of low dose radiation on food quality. Much of what is published in the literature uses doses considerably higher than 5Gy and it can be assumed if there is no significant difference of radiation at the kiloGray level, on certain components or properties of food, there will be no noted difference in these attributes at lower doses.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: 0

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2008 
Task Progress: New project for FY2008.

[Ed. note: added to Task Book in September 2009.]

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 01/30/2012)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2008