OTTAWA, June 2, 2011 /CNW/ - Nordion Inc. (TSX: NDN) (NYSE: NDZ), a
leading provider of products and services to the global health science
market, today announced the completion of construction of North
America's first gamma irradiator custom-built to eliminate insect pests
from fresh fruit.
The irradiator was built for BENEBION, a Mexican provider of
phytosanitary services to exporters of fruit and vegetables. Nordion is
also supplying the client with cobalt-60 (Co-60), the isotope used in
gamma sterilization. Using Nordion's technology, BENEBION plans to
treat its first shipment of fruit in June 2011. The plant, located in
Matehuala, will have an annual capacity of 300,000 metric tons.
"As demonstrated by this new facility, Nordion is able to tailor its
sterilization systems to meet its customers' specific processing
needs", said Steve West, CEO of Nordion. "With over 40 years in the
gamma sterilization industry, Nordion brings unparalleled experience,
reliability and expertise to customers such as BENEBION."
Irradiation is commonly used to protect consumers from food-borne
disease, reduce spoilage and improve shelf life. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture has also approved the import of tropical fruit from Mexico
treated with this process. Gamma sterilization works by exposing
products to a measured dose of ionizing radiation from Co-60. This
destroys insect pests and helps to reduce harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli while not affecting the taste or nutritional value of the food.
Extensively studied for more than 50 years, gamma sterilization is
recognized as safe and effective by international public health and
government agencies such as the World Health Organization, the UN Food
and Agriculture Organization, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and
Prevention and Health Canada.
"Mexican tropical fruit growers have worked hard to meet U.S. quarantine
standards," said Arved Deecke, CEO of BENEBION. "Gamma irradiation does
not negatively affect produce quality and can be applied at any stage
of ripening the customer desires, while significantly lowering the
microbial load. Our company recognized its potential to open up markets
that were previously not easily accessible to us. We needed a gamma
sterilization facility that had both the capacity and the technical
configuration to serve the produce industry. The new Nordion irradiator
allows us to do just that. Mexico will now be able to export guava at
significant volumes and offer tree-ripened quality mangoes, something
simply not achievable with the current hot water dipping process."
Mexican fruit and vegetable exports to the US were worth USD$7.1 billion
About Nordion Inc.
Nordion Inc. (TSX: NDN) (NYSE: NDZ) is a global specialty health science
company that provides market-leading products used for the prevention,
diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are a leading provider of
medical isotopes, targeted therapies and sterilization technologies
that benefit the lives of millions of people in more than 60 countries
around the world. Our products are used daily by pharmaceutical and
biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals,
clinics and research laboratories. Nordion has more than 500 highly
skilled employees in three locations. Find out more at www.nordion.com.
BENEBION™ is the trademark of Mexican start-up PHYTOSAN S.A. de C.V.,
under which its phytosanitary irradiation services are marketed. The
company is located in Guadalajara, Mexico and was founded in 2003 as a
direct consequence of U.S. regulatory approval of phytosanitary
irradiation for the import of fresh produce.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this news release constitute
"forward-looking statements". These statements are based on current
beliefs and assumptions of management, however are subject to known and
unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual
results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in
this news release. For additional information with respect to certain
of these beliefs, assumptions, risks and uncertainties, please refer to
Nordion's Annual Information Form for fiscal 2010 available on SEDAR at
www.sedar.com and on EDGAR on www.sec.gov.
1 USDA Economic Research Service: NAFTA at 17: Full Implementation Leads to Increased Trade and
Integration, report released April 2011
SOURCE Nordion Inc.
For further information:
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