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How to Reduce Waste and Extend the Shelf Life of Perishable Foods

It is a question that many supermarket owners, butcher shops, fish mongers and department managers ask themselves as they search for a solution to a very common problem. It has been proven that the strong light and skewed spectrum of regular fluorescent lighting promotes chemical and physical changes (lipid and photo oxidization) of many foods.

The abundant UV radiation emitted from improper light sources (visible and non-visible spectrum), causes meat to turn color, dry out and lose its natural juices and flavoring which decreases the overall presentation, quality and value of the product. In addition, there is added risk of exponential bacteria growth in fresh foods when stored under unsafe food condtions which encompasses case lighting.

What Perishable Foods are Affected by Light?

Foods that are sensitive to heat and light include: fruits, vegetables, packaged meats, deli meats, cheeses, dairy products as well as many other beverages including milk, beer and wine. The only difference with beverages products is that those items packaged in dark containers help prevent off-flavoring and the nutrtional degradation of the product.

For butcher shops and meat markets, the color of beef products should appear red with white marbling, juicy and soft to the touch, not dark or brown and dry and tough.

Packaged salads should be fresh looking and crisp, packages should not be off-gasing and bloated which is an indication of quickly ripening product.

Specialty cheese products should maintain their color and soft appearance and should not be faded, discolored or dry.

Deli meats and prepared salads should be moist and full of flavor and require little to not turning and trimming of product.

Seafood fillets should maintain their mositure content and stay fresh without spoiling and producing the "off" fishy smell.

How Can Stores Prevent Food Damage from Light?

Store owners and managers have to make important decisions when it comes to the merchandising and profitability of their business. Do they jeopardize the fresh appearance, shelf life and quality of perishable food items for potential dollar savings on a bulb? Or do they understand the true cost and benefits of installing lighting that is specifically designed for food applications in their cases.

For those discriminating retailers who demand superior quality, protection and true color rendering, PROMOLUX balanced spectrum low radiation lamps are the only choice.

PROMOLUX lamps are designed to reduce and eliminate the portions of UV radiation that cause both photo and lipid oxidization. Using PROMOLUX food lighting in fresh food displays often means more than just retaining product and profit margins; it is a statement to shoppers about the freshnes and quality they've come to expect from their local store. Throwing away tons of spoiled food is not an eco-friendly solution especially when it could of been prevented with the correct lights in the display case.

How Fluctuating Temperatures Spoil Food

It is a fact that bacteria exists everywhere. In the air, soil, water, even the foods we eat. When food has nutrients, moisture, time and favorable temperatures, bacteria grows rapidly increasing in numbers to the point where it can cause serious harm to consumers.

Exposing foods to uncontrolled temperatures will also cause physical spoilage. For example, fresh meat and seafood exposed to fluctuating temperature changes will show obvious signs of degradation and spoilage as the texture and appearance of the food item is affected. The surface of fish fillets will often crack and separate, leaving them more susceptible to microbial contamination.

fresh fish showcase
Seafood and fish showcases should highlight the "catch of the day" and capture shoppers attention by promoting the natural colors and freshness of the product.

Don't waste another second on unnecessary perishable food waste!
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