Review of the Texas A&M Hands-on Electron Beam Technology Workshop
Texas A&M University’s National Center for Electron Beam Research (NCEBR) have re-started their hands-on electron beam technology workshops. After a 2-year hold due to the pandemic, the NCEBR held their 11th offering of the workshop April 25-29th on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas.
Suresh Pillai of the NCEBR, a member of iia, reports:
The response to the workshop was unprecedented. There were over 50 attendees representing the medical device industry, the food industry, the pet food industry, technology providers, entrepreneurs, consultants, and the US government. As well as participants from the US, the workshop had attendees from Mexico, Canada, Poland, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, South Africa, and China. The workshop was organized into two sessions. Session 1 focuses on medical device sterilization and dose-mapping and Session 2 focused on food processing and dose-mapping of food packages. The highlight of the Texas A&M University workshops is the opportunity for a day-long hands-on experience with dose-mapping, single- and double-sided eBeam dosing and calculating dose uniformity ratios of actual commercial packages. The workshop also discussed how packaging for gamma irradiation can be re-configured for eBeam processing. The speakers at this workshop were from Becton Dickinson, Ebeam Consulting, Buhler, IBA Industrial, Texas A&M University, e-Agro Industrial, Steri-Tek, USDA-APHIS, USDA-ARS and Fluker Farms. The workshop’s primary sponsor was IBA Industrial. The other sponsors were Mevex Corp, GEX, e-Agro Industrial, and eFoods. A highlight of these workshops is the opportunity to network and socialize!
Cherin Balt of HEPRO, also a member of iia, attended the workshop and provided the following feedback:
The workshop was interesting to me having been in the gamma irradiation field for so long and never having been exposed (so to speak) to EBeam technology. My objective was to learn more about the theory and the practice in the hands-on session. Since we are looking to the future we need to take all technologies into account this was a very helpful introduction to that technology in particular the hands-on experience to see the effects of single and double pass.
The presentations (particularly some of the more technical topics) were very well presented making the theory simpler to grasp. An array of Electron Beam technology (LEEB, HEEB) was presented by different manufacturers for different applications whether it be for in-house or commercial sterilisation.
Dr Suresh Pillai had suggested participants bring their products on which we were taken through all the steps for dose mapping the product. Having a selection of Medical Devices in the one session and Food products gave one an insight into the complexities and challenges in performing dose mapping.
The final session dealing with SIT (Sterile Insect Technique) and specifically control of New World Screw Worm and Wastewater Treatment outlined another fascinating application for EBeam/Xray.
It was well organised and very instructive.