Can LED Lighting Keep Groceries Fresher Longer?

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.

Consumers want their ground beef to be one color red

Hoping To Prevent Gray Ground Beef, MU Researchers See Red With LED Lights | The Kansas City Star

“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?

2 thoughts on “Can LED Lighting Keep Groceries Fresher Longer?

  1. John says on January 26, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I am glad that researchers are looking in new directions in order to improve the overall quality of life for our society. If this can help us improve the quality of our nutrition and extend the shelf life of beef. Now that we are more conscious of our nutrition by shopping at farmer’s markets and staying away from processed foods, and cutting down on the consumption of sugar and salt, this is yet another step forward toward healthier living.

  2. Gertrude says on January 28, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    That is good that GE has collaborated with Brookshire Brothers grocery chain (I think it’s a chain) to improve the shelf life of their products. It’s hard to fathom that LED lighting has the capability to preserve the freshness of meats and produce, but if this type of lighting reduces heat, thereby keeping the temperature of meat lower, then it makes a whole lot of sense. I don’t have one of these grocery stores in my town, but If I did, I’d shop there for meats.

Comments are closed.