Irradiation involves exposing food to a source of radioactivity that inhibits the continued growth or ripening of the food. This makes it an effective preservation process, but it does cause chemical changes in the food, and some destruction of vitamins may occur. The irradiation process can form new compounds called 'radiolytic products' in the food. Even though these may be present in very small amounts (only one or two parts per million), questions have still been raised about the possible harmful effects.
The flavor and texture of foods can also be adversely affected by irradiation; for instance, vegetables may become soft and spongy, and irradiated meats have often been described as having an unpleasant 'goaty' or 'wet dog' flavor.
** Asian Recipes