Display cases and grocery stores increasingly use LED lights, and that’s bad news for milk drinkers, according to a new study.
Cornell University researchers in the Department of Food Science found that exposure to light-emitting diode (LED) sources for even a few hours degrades the perceived quality of fluid milk, more so than the microbial content that naturally accumulates over time.
Their study determined that milk remained at high-quality for two weeks when shielded from LED exposure, and that consumers overwhelmingly preferred the older milk over fresh milk stored in a typical container that had been exposed to LED light for as little as four hours.
As sellers adopt these light-efficient energy sources in dairy cases and point-of-sale locations, merchants might be unwittingly sabotaging the product they are trying to sell.
“For some reason we love to look across the store and see this glowing case of milk that’s shining bright,” said Robin Dando, senior author on the paper and assistant professor in Cornell’s Department of Food Science. “It’s attractive to look at, but we might actually be damaging the quality of the product.”
In market news, dairy researchers and analysts at the IFCN Dairy Research Network conference agreed that milk price recovery in 2016 is possible.
The researchers estimate that global milk supply will grow by 1.5 per cent in 2016, but global demand is expected to grow by 2 per cent. Although supply outweighed demand for the first 5 months of the year, the experts predicted the situation would reverse by the end of 2016.
However, IFCN chief Torsten Hemme said the speed of the recovery depends on stock holders: “If they keep stocks for a longer time a substantial recovery by the end of 2016 is possible. If stock holders act differently, price recovery will be delayed. But milk price recovery is possible.”