Journal of Food Science and Technology

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 106–109 | Cite as

Evaluation of irradiation in foods using DNA Comet assay

  • Affaf Khawar
  • Ijaz Ahmad BhattiEmail author
  • Q. M. Khan
  • A. I. Khan
  • M. R. Asi
  • T. Ali
Original Article


Comet assay is a rapid, inexpensive and sensitive biological technique to detect DNA damage in food stuffs by irradiation. In this study the Comet assay is applied on foods of plant and animal origins. Samples were irradiated by using Co-60 gamma-radiation source. The applied doses were 2, 6 and 10 kGy for food of plant origin and 0.5, 1 and 2 kGy for meat items. The un-irradiated and irradiated samples were clearly differentiated on the basis of DNA fragmentation. During the electrophoresis study, it was found that in un-irradiated cells DNA remained intact and appeared as Comets without tail whereas in irradiated cells Comets with tails were visible due to stretching of fragmented DNA. Moreover, it was also revealed that the DNA tail length was dose dependent. Dry food stuffs (seeds) showed good results as compared to moist foods (meat, fruits and vegetables) due to the absence of background damage.


Comet assay DNA fragmentation Irradiation Electrophoresis Absorbed dose 



We are grateful to the authorities of Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Peshawar, for providing the gamma irradiation facility.


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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Affaf Khawar
    • 1
  • Ijaz Ahmad Bhatti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Q. M. Khan
    • 2
  • A. I. Khan
    • 3
  • M. R. Asi
    • 4
  • T. Ali
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Centre of Agricultural Biochemistry and BiotechnologyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  3. 3.Environment Biotechnology DivisionNational Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic EngineeringFaisalabadPakistan
  4. 4.Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and BiologyFaisalabadPakistan

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