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The invention could ensure burnt toast becomes a thing of the past  as a state-of-the-art toaster which uses radiation to help produce the perfect slice of toast has been unveiled.

The device works by sucking in particles of caramelised bread and blowing them through an ionising sensor which uses radioative material.

The Cambs company Magnetic's use of radiation, which can pose serious risks to health, meant it had to gain government approval for the toaster.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs has given the go-ahead.

The toaster was authorised as a "justifiable" use of radiation.

Within the sensor, a small electrical current flows through an airborne path of ions - charged particles - emitted by a pellet of radioactive material.

In March 2004 BBC News Interactive revealed that Magnetic, which is based in Trumpington, had been awarded £45,000 to develop a toaster project.

'Smoke alarm principle'

At the time Magnetic's owner Paul Brown told the BBC that the toaster would work with any type of bread.
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The company said users would be able to modify the sensor depending on the bread types.

Mr Brown said: "It is based on the very simple idea of putting a smoke alarm in a toaster.

"The alarm recognises sugar particles which is ideal for a toaster.

"Everyone who has seen it loves it. It can work with any type of bread."

Mr Brown had previously worked as a product designer for Black and Decker and with Cambridge Consultants. 

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