NZ: MPI proposes irradiation protocol for Australian grape imports

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NZ: MPI proposes irradiation protocol for Australian grape imports

New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will be accepting comments until Feb. 21 on a proposed protocol that would allow imports of irradiated table grapes from Australia.

Australia has had a cold treatment table grape export protocol with its trans-Tasman neighbor since 2000, and is New Zealand's second-largest supplier behind the United States with an 18% market share.

According to UN Comtrade, in 2016 this equated to exports of US$6.9 million out of a total of US$273 million worldwide. 

Under MPI's proposal exporters would still be allowed to undertake cold treatment, but they would have irradiation as an alternative option.

MPI has urged commenters to provide evidence and data to back up any claims, seeing as irradiation has already been approved for use as a phytosanitary treatment by Food Safety Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

Australia's irradiation plant run by Steritech in Brisbane is already used to treat a variety of fruit that is exported to New Zealand, including mangoes, litchis, papayas, tomatoes and bell peppers. 

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www.freshfruitportal.com

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