When shopping for ground beef in the grocery store, most consumers are looking for a bright red color that’s associated with fresh, raw meat. Spots of gray or brown will quickly turn most of us off and create the impression that something is wrong or less than fresh when it comes to that particular package of beef. This amounts to excessive food waste and loss of profits for grocery suppliers. According to a University of Missouri study, using LEDs in place of fluorescent lights that light grocery meat cases could help solve this problem.
“The MU research advances previous work by Kyle Steele, a graduate student at Kansas State University, who found that LEDs extended the shelf life of ground beef and other meat. His conclusion was that the cooler operating LEDs kept the internal temperature of the meat lower and slowed the process that turns the meat brown. The shelf life of ground beef staying red is normally three days, but under LEDs it was extended to four days. The MU study, besides confirming that LEDs affect shelf life, is examining how LEDs perform in different situations than those tested by Steele. It’s also doing more research to determine whether there’s something else about LEDs other than their cooler temperatures that keeps hamburger red a longer time.”
Could these findings revolutionize the use of lighting in food storage and display, and significantly reduce food waste?