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LED Lighting Reduces Nutrients in Milk

Tuesday 28 May 2019

LED lighting on supermarket shelves is reducing the nutritional value of milk and shortening its shelf life, says a new report from Newcastle University.

The report, ‘Milk: Light exposure and depletion of key nutrients’, shows that high-intensity lighting, such as that found in supermarket dairy cabinets, reduces essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and Vitamin D, all of which are important components of a healthy diet, helping to prevent disease and support growth. Most consumers are unaware that light can significantly impact milk quality, taste and nutrition. In fact most of us do not realise the power of light and the impact it has on the health of all plants and food, as well as eyesight, well-being and the human condition. Light really matters, but all light is not the same.

Dr Catherine Birch, Newcastle University, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences said “While milk is just one component of a healthy diet, it is an important one, providing people with many essential nutrients including vitamins, protein and minerals. The damaging effects of light can be influenced by the light intensity and time of exposure, so longer exposure to light causes milk to deteriorate faster”.

The report notes there are solutions to this issue including packaging which is designed to be light-protected as technology is available to design containers that reduce or prevent light damage. Laboratory testing on milk found that while the light-protected milk retained almost all Vitamin B2 and lost only 16% of Vitamin A, while non-light protected milk lost all Vitamin B2 and 93% of Vitamin A.

Georgia Kollias, VP Global Brand Development at Noluma said “Many consumers would choose light-protected milk for their families if they had that option, so we’re encouraging retailers and manufacturers to give them that choice”

It is becoming increasingly evident that we need to pay closer attention to the intensity and make-up of the light used in commercial applications as well as in the home.

Sources:

  1. New energy-saving LED lights installed in supermarkets are killing key healthy nutrients in fresh milk, such as vitamins A and D, researchers find.

  2. Report Says Exposure to LED Lighting Reduces Nutrition of Milk.

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