New Illuminates

Impact of new illuminants in retail markets on meats and dairy products

Workgroup: Preservation of Food Quality

Scientific Partners and Guidance:
Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung IVV; Wolfgang Danzl / Dr. Klaus Rieblinger

Financing: IVLV
Duration: 2013

New light sources (light-emitting diode (LED), Metal halide lamps, energy saving lamps) are becoming increasingly popular in supermarkets. The advantages of LED lighting are long lifetime, low power consumption and low heat production. Still, the initial investments for LEDs are relatively high, but first supermarkets change their lighting to LED. But it is unknown how the new types of lighting affect the quality of illuminated food. While fluorescent lighting can have large emission spectra, the emission of LED lights consists of relatively narrow bands in the visible spectra. Depending on light absorption of the food stuff strong specific interactions can be expected.Many foods are particularly sensitive to light. Best known and most problematic examples are cured meat products and milk. Sausages show a very fast greying under light exposition and oxygen conditions within few hours. The colour of meat products is for customers the first and main quality characteristic. Milk is also known to be particularly sensitive to light. In addition to the loss of essential constituents of milk (vitamins and amino acids) and the formation of an off-flavour leads to a loss of quality when exposed to light. This reaction is as fast as the greying of sausage products.In the project the impact of various new lighting systems (LEDs, Metal halide lamps) will be evaluated on the quality loss of meat and dairy products in comparison to conventional fluorescent tubes.