DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña (second from right) and DOST-PNRI Director Dr. Carlo A. Arcilla (rightmost) cheer on as Walter W. Brown, chair of the A Brown Company, Inc, leads the official groundbreaking of the Tanay Electron Beam and Cold Storage Facility on May 13, 2022 in Brgy Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal. The facility will be headed by Irradiation Solutions Inc. President Paul Francis B. Juat (third from right). [Niña Grace S. Pineda | PNRI-Nuclear Information and Documentation Section]
First commercial irradiation facility to rise in Tanay, Rizal
The first commercial multipurpose irradiation facility in the Philippines has laid the grounds for construction in Tanay, Rizal last Friday, May 13, 2022. The facility, under the Irradiation Solutions Inc. (ISI), a 100% subsidiary of A Brown Company Inc. (ABCI), will be the first private company in the country to offer commercial electron beam (e-beam) irradiation services, with provision for cold storage. This privately-operated facility shall cater to clients in food, medical devices, commercial products, pharmaceutical, and packaging industries.
In an e-beam process, products are exposed to continuous beams of electrons which damage and destroy microorganisms and pathogens, resulting in sterilized products that have a longer shelf life.
ISI will be using a 10-million-electron-volt (MeV) e-beam accelerator manufactured for commercial irradiation and sterilization application. This will sterilize medical masks, dressings, syringes, surgical staplers, and other single-use medical devices. It will also make agricultural and fishery products to be of export quality and gain wider access to international markets.
Over the past 30 years, e-beam technology has been widely accepted globally and more than 1,200 e-beam irradiation facilities are currently operating worldwide.
DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) Director Carlo A. Arcilla said that ABCI and ISI realized DOST’s commitment to help set-up a private irradiation facility. DOST-PNRI will assist in the training of the future workers of the ISI irradiation facility on the different aspects of the irradiation process.
Last year, local government officials of Barangay Sampaloc, Tanay had an educational visit to the PNRI e-beam irradiation facility to learn about the irradiation processes and equipment used.
The Tanay municipal council initially had doubts on irradiation technology, according to Tanay Mayor Rex Manuel Tanjuatco. But ISI’s presentations based on comprehensive research and the LGU’s recent educational visit to the irradiation facility in DOST-PNRI helped win the nods of the local government officials.
Consequently, they are now anticipating the creation of more jobs and other opportunities as a result of this new facility, which is expected to create an impact to the local economy.
ISI President Paul Francis Juat described irradiation technology as a “proven safe technology” that can further the growth of various industries and help in developing the downstream industries. He is in high hopes that after two years of technical planning and preparation, the 11,700-square meter irradiation facility will be operational after 15 months. (Michael Angelo C. Sia | PNRI-Nuclear Information and Documentation Section)
Aerial perspective of the Tanay Electronic Beam irradiation facility. [Courtesy of Irradiation Solutions Inc.]