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Shelf Life and Safe Spectrum Lighting

Food Shelf Life

An extensive body of literature is available on the effect of lighting on the shelf life of perishable products in meat, seafood, produce, deli, bakery, beer, wine, dairy, floral departments of supermarket grocery stores.

"...storage at commercial (2° C), as opposed to optimum (-1.5° C) temperatures reduces product storage life by 50%."

Extensive studies have been conducted on the reduction in shelf life caused by poor lighting on such products as fresh beef.

According the National Cattleman's Beef Association, over $1 billion of revenue from fresh beef sales was lost in 1991 due to spoilage and discoloration. This estimate does not include other losses in meat departments such as from pork, lamb, or poultry sales, nor does it consider losses from processed meat, deli, seafood, produce, bakery, beer, wine, and dairy spoilage.

These losses to US retailers can be estimated at several billion dollars per year. Based on this, each supermarket can estimate its own losses and consider that the solution may lie in part in taking a new look at its choice of lighting for its perishable foods departments.

We invite you to look into this and to allow us to be your partner in food safety, food protection and food merchandising.

"Meat spoilage is a significant concern for the Canadian beef industry, with related costs estimated at $200 million per year."

Retailers already know from their own experience that food does not last once it is exposed to light and radiation from store heating and artificial light sources. This is especially true for refrigerated products as they are highly sensitive to light and heat.

As it has been demonstrated in the section on food safety, short product shelf life not only creates major financial losses but also poses a considerable liability to the retailer from a food safety point of view. Because retailers are the final distributors of food products, they must manage this food safety risk to protect consumers as well as their own long-term survival.

"Fluorescent lighting in retail dairy display cases induces vitamin A degradation and 'light-oxidized' flavor defects in milk products packaged in light-transmissible ... containers."

Although it is not possible to estimate the cost of the thousands of illnesses and even deaths caused by food that has become unsafe for consumption, thereis a great deal of research available on the financial cost to the retailer due to the loss of proper shelf life after perishables are exposed to light.

There is no doubt that this is the most important reason for retailers to consider the relationship between radiation from light sources and food shelf life.

Visible and invisible radiation from light sources has a harmful effect on the shelf life of food. It is not only the UV and infrared cycles of the spectrum that damage food. There is considerable literature that connects the photochemical oxidation of most food groups to the wavelengths of visible radiation that these foods are exposed to.

At the 1980 Reciprocal Meat Conference, Dr. Donald Kropf of Kansas State University presented a paper entitled "Effects of Retail Display Conditions on Meat Color." In this work, he demonstrated that oxymyoglobin, the pigment responsible for the red color of fresh meat, is damaged by visible spectrum wavelengths at 545 and 582 nm, while metmyoglobin, the oxidized version of the myoglobin pigment which gives meat a brown or gray color, absorbs radiation at 504 and 630 nm wavelengths. Dr. Kropf postulates that the damaging effects caused by display lighting could be caused by elevated temperatures at the meat surface, photochemical reactions, or by differences in the patterns of spectral energy distribution.

In the same study Professor Kropf shows that foot candle measurements of light can be misleading since the blue and red parts of the spectrum are not fully measured. For a true comparison he suggests the use of microwatts per square centimeter per foot-candle. Using this measurement, incandescent light sources emit twice as many microwatts per centimeter per foot-candle as fluorescent lights. In addition, certain fluorescents were found to emit two times as many microwatts per cm per foot-candle as other fluorescents.

Studies by Holland (1979) and Grier (1984) as well as Gill and Chand (1993) found that surface temperatures on perishable products can vary significantly within a retail display case.

These studies further indicated that the color deterioration generally precedes microbial spoilage.

"...surveys of retail outlets have shown product surface temperatures to be 4 to 25° C higher than the temperature of the retail case (Holland, 1979), and a product surface temperature of 10° C was not uncommon under retail conditions (Greer, 1984)."

Brissy states that the radiant hear from intense display lighting increases temperature on the meat surface. Santa Maria demonstrated the temperature elevation of about 7 and 6 degrees C respectively at the meat surface from incandescent and the lux cool white fluorescent lights compared to temperatures of sample kept in the dark.

Lighting engineers estimate that 1 degree F temperature rise for each 10 foot candles of incandescent lighting for cases with a 70 cubic feet per minute air velocity. Radiant energy from walls, ceilings and floor of the store can affect temperature even when lights are out. According the University of Zaragoza report comparing Promolux fluorescents to regular fluorescents it was clear that the oxidation and discoloration of meat from cherry red bloom in oxymyoglobin to brownish metmyoglobin occurred much faster under regular light than under the low radiation Promolux light source. Similarly that report shows lower bacterial formation in lighting by Promolux than alternative light sources.

Each food type reacts differently to different radiation sources. Even such products as cooked ham when processed differently will react significantly different under different radiation sources. Some manufacturers use spices that are chlorophyll based and are photo oxidized very rapidly for example, studies at the Fraunhoffer Institute show that such spices as oregano or others containing chlorophyll (including peppers) will photooxidize, discolor and absorb light much more rapidly if mixed with processed meat.

This is also true for such products as wine, beer, olive oil, mustard, glass packaged cooked vegetables, diary products, all of which not only appear visually as discolored but they develop a smell and off taste.

Beer and wine when placed under fluorescent or other light sources become "light struck" this reaction is stronger in light or pale drinks and they create a chemical reaction which creates an off odor and taste that is very negative to consumers.

"...beer in the regular amber bottle will begin to be noticeably 'lightstruck' within about two minutes, while beer in a clear glass will begin deteriorating within 30 seconds!"

Similarly the study by the Dairy Council of Arizona on the effects of light on milk indicates "the extent of flavor changes and nutrient losses depends on several variables among these are the light intensity, illuminance and wavelengths, the distance between the light source and milk container, container material, amount exposed surface area, surface to volume ratio, temperature, and duration of exposure." In a study in Pennsylvania almost half of 449 samples of milk translucent plastic jugs were reported to have developed pronounced light induced off flavors within 36 hours.

Retailers can verify that discolored meat is left by consumers on the shelf as undesirable and in time this must be thrown away even when they are still perfectly safe for eating. Meat managers in supermarkets around the world can confirm that packages that are under light exposure deteriorate much faster than the package underneath or behind and therefore protected from the light. This shows that the physical temperature being the same and the quality of the product being the same as it is held in the same refrigerated display case, the only difference between the damaged or discolored package and the ones underneath or behind is the exposure to light.

When Your Beer Really Stinks. Beer Break, Vol. 1, No. 16.

"The smell is the product of the chemical reaction that takes place in the bottle when bright light strikes the hops, creating what's technically known as 'light struck' beer. The reaction is stronger with paler and hoppier beers. The resulting chemical is identical to that in a skunk's defense system, and light-struck beer puts off one of the most powerful aromas around."

An Introduction to the Brewing Process: Comments on Bottled Beer. R.G. Black, revised by G.J. Kitz. Prepared for Great Western Brewing Company Limited.

"Beer is highly susceptible to light, and we might add, light from any source. In sunlight, the reaction is almost immediate. The ultraviolet part of the light spectrum breaks down the sulphur containing molecules, forming highly odourous mercaptans and other sulphurous compounds. A customer complaint on this subject cannot possibly be mistaken, as a most objectionable odour and flavour is present."

"A surprising fact is that beer in the regular amber bottle will begin to be noticeably 'lightstruck' within about two minutes, while beer in a clear glass will begin deteriorating within 30 seconds!"

Effect of Light on Milk. Dairy Council of Arizona. Dairy Management, Inc.

"It is well known that milk, if exposed to either sunlight or artificial light (i.e., fluorescent lighting found in most dairy cases), can develop flavor changes and nutrient losses, especially of riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin A (particularly added vitamin A), vitamin C (which is present in low quantities in milk), and added vitamin D."

"The extent of flavor changes and nutrient losses depends on several variables. Among these are the light intensity, illuminance and wavelength, the distance between the light source and milk container, container material, amount exposed surface area, surface to volume ratio, temperature, and duration of exposure."

"In terms of nutrition, loss of riboflavin is directly related to the amount of ultraviolet light transmitted through the container."

"Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is particularly light-sensitive. In milk, the rate of destruction of vitamin C is proportional to the amount of light transmitted through the container."

"In a study in Pennsylvania, almost half of 449 samples of milk in translucent plastic jugs were reported to have developed pronounced light-induced off-flavors within 36 hours."

Light-Oxidized Flavor Defect of Milk. Dairy Science Facts 2002. Cornell University.

"Light-oxidized defect develops in milk as a result of its exposure to sunlight or to fluorescent lighting (wavelengths below 620 nm) common in store dairy cases. Light initiates a chemical reaction in milk that modifies specific proteins and fats, resulting in the characteristic off-flavors. Certain vitamins (i.e. riboflavin and vitamin A) are also susceptible to light-induced degradation in a similar manner."

"Exposure to sunlight for as little as 10-15 minutes (5 minutes in very intense light) is sufficient to cause the defect, while longer exposure times are generally required for fluorescent lighting. The closer the milk is to the fluorescent light source (or the more intense the light), the quicker the development of the off-flavor.

"In general, the defect is more common in milk packaged in transparent glass or plastic, though it can also occur in milk in paper cartons if there is sufficient light intensity and exposure time."

Determination of Bloom Time and Caselife of Nolan Ryan Ground Beef. R. Steiner, K.E. Belk, and G.C. Smith. 2001 Animal Sciences Research Report. Colorado State University, Fort Collins.

"Today's consumers are very demanding and quality driven, they have learned through experience that the desirable color of fresh/ground beef is bright cherry-red, and any deviation from what they perceive to be acceptable will not be purchased. Retailers discount or discard cuts that have color characteristics outside the marketable range resulting in economic losses to the company."

"Current estimates are that the value loss of fresh beef due to discoloration costs the retail beef industry 4 to 5 percent of the wholesale price or up to one billion dollars a year (Hoffman-La Roche Inc., 1993). Beef that is perfectly wholesome and safe to eat is discounted or thrown away every day because it has lost its bloom, or cherry red color, and become visually unappealing to consumers (Westcott et al.,1997)."

The Color of Meat and Poultry. Food Safety and Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture.

"Exposure to light and oxygen causes oxidation to take place, which causes the breaking down of color pigments formed during the curing process. Chemicals in the cure and oxygen, as well as energy from ultraviolet and visible light, contribute to both the chemical breakdown and microbial spoilage of the product."

The Influence of Storage and Display Conditions on the Retail Properties and Case-life of Display-ready Pork Loin Roasts. L.E. Jeremiah & L.L. Gibson. Meat Science, vol. 47, no. 1/2 (1997): 17-27.

>"Since cold-tolerant bacteria capable of spoiling meat continue to grow to at least -3° C, their growth on unfrozen meat can not be prevented and as the meat temperature increases the growth rate of the bacteria also increases."

"Increasing the storage temperature by only a degree or two has a profound effect on product storage life in any type of preservative packaging utilized. Therefore, any temperature increase, above the optimum, produces a proportional decrease in storage life. For example, storage at commercial (2° C), as opposed to optimum (-1.5° C) temperatures reduces product storage life by 50% (Gill and Shand, 1993)."

"In addition, surveys of retail outlets have shown product surface temperatures to be 4 to 25° C higher than the temperature of the retail case (Holland, 1979), and a product surface temperature of 10° C was not uncommon under retail conditions (Greer, 1984)."

Improved Quality of Retail Beef Through Control of Bacterial Spoilage. G. Gordon Greer. Technical Bulletin 1984-13E. Lacombe, Alberta: Research Branch Agriculture Canada, 1984.

“The retail case life of fresh beef is usually limited to 2 to 3 days due to the development of undesirable surface discoloration. This reduction in color acceptability has been shown to be related to the growth of psychrotrophic bacteria at the meat surface. The retailer can improve the keeping quality of beef by reducing the number of bacteria initially contaminating the meat and by controlling the growth of organisms which are present.”

“In view of the importance of color to beef acceptability, the extent of bacterial-induced surface discoloration can be used as a measure of retail beef case life. As bacteria grow on the meat surface they accelerate the oxidation of meat pigments which results in a progressive deterioration of the acceptable red color and the appearance of varying degrees of brown surface discoloration until the steak is completely discolored.”

“The growth rate of a typical beef spoilage bacteria can double as the temperature of incubation increases from 1 to 5° C and can triple with a further increase to 10° C. Increased bacterial growth means reduced case life.”

“The actual surface temperature of steaks on retail display is much higher than that recorded at the blower thermometer. In this particular case, the blower thermometer indicated a temperature of -0.5° C while displayed steak surface temperatures were on the average about 8° C higher (7.3° C).”

“Another important consideration is the intensity and duration of display illumination. The display case in the studies described herein was illuminated with 150 watt incandescent, cool-beam floodlights to give a light intensity of about 80 foot-candles at the meat surface. Lighting was automatically timed to illuminate the display case for 12 hours/day."

"During this 12 hour period of illumination steak surface temperatures were found to be higher than in the absence of illumination. This is a type of ‘greenhouse effect’ in that the heat produced by radiant energy is absorbed by the meat and trapped between the polyvinyl wrap and the meat surface. Thus, although display illumination enhances the appearance of beef it is detrimental to keeping quality."

Marketing Guidelines for a Retail Seafood Department: Customer Needs, Management, Quality Assurance and Merchandising, Charles W. Coale et al. Sponsored by Sea Grant at Virginia Tech, Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Development Foundation, Inc., and National Marine Fisheries Service. VPI-SG-88-01.

"A survey by Food Marketing Institute revealed a strong correlation between display size and shrinkage. Stores with long full-service seafood case frontages indicated an overall shrinkage rate of 15 percent while those with small departments experienced just 5 percent. Interestingly, the reverse was true for self-service operations."

"As fresh seafoods lose quality they also lose their ability to hold water, accelerating drip loss. This is readily apparent in oyster meats but is equally true in other shellfish and finfish. Drip and dehydration may be substantial. Cooked shrimp may lose 15 percent of their weight within three days and raw shrimp considerably more. Fish fillets and steaks are very vulnerable to drip, and the amount for one species may be double that of another.”

"Texas A & M specialists have observed that the air just two inches above a bed of ice in an unrefrigerated case may be at room temperature. Similarly, researchers at Virginia Tech have recorded as much as a 25° F difference between the bottom and top of a stack of flounder fillets piled on ice. Obviously this is not acceptable."

Studies of Light Induced Defects in Fluid Milk: Vitamin A Loss & Light-Oxidized Off Flavors. Dairy Science Facts 2002. Cornell University.

"Fluorescent lighting in retail dairy display cases induces vitamin A degradation and 'light-oxidized' flavor defects in milk products packaged in light-transmissible (i.e. high-density polyethylene - HDPE) containers."

"Based on the results of this study, trained panelists were able to detect oxidized flavor after 15 to 30 minutes of light exposure while consumers required between 54 minutes and 2 hours."

Photooxidative Stability of Ice Cream Prepared from Milk Fat. M. Shiota, N. Ikeda, H. Konishi, and T. Yoshioka. Journal of Food Science, vol. 67, no.3 (2002).

"Ice cream contains a high percentage of fat compared with other food products; therefore, ice cream might deteriorate during storage under strong lighting in grocery stores. Light-induced oxidation could potentially cause serious problems in the quality and safety of ice cream."

UNC Chemists Figure Out What Causes 'Skunky Beer.' David Williamson. University of North Carolina News Service, 2001.

"Historically, beer has been stored in brown or green bottles to protect hop-derived compounds from light in a process we call photodegradation," said Dr. Malcolm D. Forbes, professor of chemistry.

"Hops help flavor beer, inhibit bacterial growth and are largely responsible for the stability of the foam in the head," Forbes said. "Hops, however, are light-sensitive, and the three main compounds in them identified as being light-sensitive are called isohumulones. When attacked by either visible or ultraviolet light, these break down to make reactive intermediates known as free radicals that lead to the offensive taste and skunky odor."

Fruit and Vegetable General Processing. Chapter 3: Deterioration Factors and Their Control. Mircea Enachescu Dauthy. FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin No. 119, Rome 1995.

>Light is one of the major factors responsible for the deterioration of fresh and dehydrated produce.

When fruits and vegetables are processed and stored, their quality is compromised by lipid oxidation, a chemical reaction that affects the color, flavor, odor, and nutritional value of the food.

If factors such as exposure to light and heat are controlled, the rate of photo-oxidation can be reduced and nutrient loss can be prevented.

Green Potatoes: the Problem and the Solution. Alexander D. Pavlista. Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. G01-1437-A.

"Greening is strongly affected by the cumulative effects of light quality, duration, and intensity."

"As a rule, fluorescent light above 75 foot-candles exposure at room temperature (68°F) for three to five days will start the greening process; however, light intensity as low as 5 foot-candles and light durations as short as 12 hours can cause greening of a few potato varieties such as Kennebec."

"In potato tubers, the greening is a sign that there may be an increase in the presence of glycoalkaloids, especially the substance solanine."

"Unlike chlorophyll, light is not needed for solanine formation, but, with light, glycoalkaloid formation is increased."

"When potato tubers are exposed to light, the solanine content in the peel may increase as much as ten times. Toxic levels for people are about one-hundredth of an ounce for a 200-lb person."

"But, with UV light-exposed whole tubers in which solanine had increased ten-fold, only two pounds could cause a reaction. Potentially high levels for a 100-lb and 50-lb person would be 16 and 8 ounces of a fully green potato, respectively."

"Potatoes containing more than 0.1 percent solanine (.01 oz / 10 oz potato) are considered unfit for eating."

Potato Glycoalkaloid Toxicity: Solanine. Andrew Montario. Cornell University.

"It is a less commonly known fact that potatoes produce compounds called glycoalkaloids that have been shown to be toxic to both man and to animals."

"At high enough levels the glycoalkaloid found in potatoes known as solanine can cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, impairment of the nervous system, and it is believed that they can cause teratogenic or birth defects. Neurological signs can include ataxia, convulsions, coma, muscle weakness, and involuntary urination."

Spencer's Beer Page: Graph of Bottle Glass Light Transmission. Spencer Thomas and Ian Craig.

"The critical part for beer skunking seems to be wavelengths shorter than about 500nm."

"Note that the brown bottles transmit a lot less light in this part of the spectrum than do the green and clear bottles."

New Study Validates Light Blocking Efforts: Teens Taste Light-Oxidation in Milk and Don't Like It. Kathryn Chapman. Dairy Foods (Sept. 2002).

"One way to have good-tasting milk is to protect it from light."

"Both natural and artificial light can induce quality defects that consumers notice -- and don't like. Light exposure causes chemical reactions in milk that can modify the proteins and fats that are present to produce many negative flavors, ranging from burnt protein (burnt feathers or hair) to cardboard or metallic. The resulting off-flavors are dependent upon various factors such as exposure time, intensity and wavelength of light, and composition of the milk."

Molecular Genetics Could Shed New Light on Beef Spoilage. Frances Nattress and Chris Yost. Research Report CABIDF-52. Canada Alberta Beef Industy Development Fund, 1999.

"Meat spoilage is a significant concern for the Canadian beef industry, with related costs estimated at $200 million per year."

"Previous research has shown that lactic acid bacteria are the primary bacteria in vacuum-packaged meat and that with extended refrigerated storage, their numbers attain high levels and spoilage ensues. Currently, vacuum packaging is used to market about 80 percent of Canadian beef to domestic and international markets."

Lighting Effects on Packaged Foods. J.C. Acton and L.K. Cook. 2002 Annual Meeting and Food Expo - Anaheim, California.

"Food products packaged in transparent and translucent films can deteriorate during retail light display due to changes in sensitive pigments or lipids. Oxidation of these constituents leads to fading or discoloration and off-flavor development."

Predictive Shelf Life Testing. T.P. Labuza. 2002 Annual Meeting and Food Expo - Anaheim, California.

"The fact that foods are diverse, complex and active systems, in which microbiological, chemical, enzymatic and physicochemical reactions can simultaneously take place, evaluating shelf life is an arduous task."

"Maintenance of quality and safety is dependent on the understanding of these reactions, the influence of the environment and the successful limitation of the ones most responsible for spoilage or loss of desirable characteristics."

Potato Greening and Glycoalkaloid Accumulation. Everard Edwards. Abstract of Ph.D. Thesis for The Nottingham Trent University: The Accumulation of Chlorophylls and Glycoalkaloids in Stored Tubers.

"Exposure to light causes potato tubers to green, due to the conversion of amyloplasts to chloroplasts, and accumulate toxic steroidal glycoalkaloids. The two major alkaloids, comprising 95% of the total (TGA), are a-solanine and a-chaconine. The consumption of potatoes with high TGA concentrations can cause illness and even death."

Glycoalkaloids. from the World Potato Congress Newsletter, July 1999.

>"Glycoalkaloids are toxic to humans; the lethal dose is considered to be 3-6 mg per kg body mass."

"On exposure to light the potato tuber will produce elevated levels of these protective glycoalkaloids, with the highest levels being in the sprouts as they emerge from the tuber."

"In a recent paper delivered at a Pediatrics Congress (Symposium of Congential Malformations) held in Barquisimeto-Lara, Venezuela, Ruben Dario Cortez said that there is a relationship between the consumption of damaged and green potatoes, and neural tube defects."

Greening of Potatoes. (Download)Wayne Vandre. University of Alaska Fairbanks.

"The concern with greened potatoes should not be the color but the fact that solanine, a potentially toxic alkaloid, develops in the same area along with the chlorophyll. Greened potatoes, therefore, are often higher in solanine than those not greened. The bitter taste associated with greened potatoes is caused by the solanine, not the chlorophyll."

"Potatoes also develop more greening under light exposure, when temperatures are higher, e.g., 68 °F versus 41 °F. Retail packaging can also contribute to increased greening. Consumers want to be able to view produce prior to purchase. Packaging materials have changed over time from burlap and other opaque materials to transparent bags which allow exposure to light during retail storage and display."

Greening Potatoes: The Problem. Alexander D. Pavlista. University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Potato Education Guide.

"The green indicates an increase in the presence of glycoalkaloids, especially, in potato, the substance 'solanine' (see structure). When the potato greens, solanine increases to potentially dangerous levels."

"Unlike chlorophyll, light is not needed for solanine formation but is substantially promoted by it."

"As a rule, fluorescent light above 75 foot-candles exposure at room temperature, 68F, for three to five days will start the greening process. Light intensity may be as low as 5 foot-candles and light durations as short as 12 hours can cause greening of a few potato varieties such as Kennebec."

Effects of Cutting Method, Display Temperature and Vitamin E on Retail Beefsteak Discoloration. Y. Chiang and T. P. Ringkob. Proceedings, Western Section, American Society of Animal Science, 50 (1999): 7-10.

“Discoloration of fresh beef can be a much more complex problem also leading to lower sales and therefore negatively affects profitability. Any improvement in sanitation and temperature control usually lowers bacterial count and lengthens retail shelf life. If the retail packaged beef maintains a desirable bright red color for a longer period, more inventory can be displayed which leads to increased sales.”

Case Life of Seven Retail Products from Beef Cattle Supplemented with Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate. H.N. Zerby, K.E. Belk, J.N. Sofos, L.R. McDowell and G.C. Smith. Journal of Animal Science, vol. 77, no. 9 (Sept 1999): 2458-2463.

"Meat color is one of the most important factors used by consumers when selecting beef at retail (Liu et al.,1996). The primary pigment associated with color in meat is myoglobin, which can oxidize to metmyoglobin during retail display, resulting in development of an undesirable brown muscle color."

Rapid and Quantitative Detection of the Microbial Spoilage of Meat by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Machine Learning. David I. Ellis, David Broadhurst, Douglas B. Kell, Jem J. Rowland, Royston Goodacre. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, vol. 68, no. 6 (June 2002): 2822-2828.

"The last decade has seen an exponential increase in the consumer demand for poultry and poultry products, fueled in part by dietary health considerations."

Consumers have "fears over microbiological food safety issues, especially the incidence of Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp."

"Muscle foods, such as meat and poultry, are described as spoiled if organoleptic changes make them unacceptable to the consumer. These organoleptic characteristics may include changes in appearance (discoloration), the development of off odors, slime formation, changes in taste, or any other characteristic which makes the food undesirable for consumption. While endogenous enzymatic activity within muscle tissue postmortem can contribute to changes during storage, it is generally accepted that detectable organoleptic spoilage is a result of decomposition and the formation of metabolites caused by the growth of microorganisms."

Olive Oil Essentials: Preserving and Storing Olive Oil. Italian Cooking & Living. Italian Culinary Institute.

"All oils, especially extra-virgin olive oils and other unrefined oils, are best kept away from heat and light."

"The best storage tanks are made of materials to protect the oil from air and light, and are kept at relatively constant temperatures."

Acceptance of Fresh Chicken Meat Presented Under Three Light Sources. S. Barbut. Poultry Science, vol. 80 (2001): 101-104.

"When a consumer is presented with a package of fresh meat, visual appearance is rapidly assessed and is interpreted into a response: to buy or not to buy, to eat or not to eat."

"Color is probably the single most important appearance factor, especially today when meat cuts are already packaged. Packaged meat makes the consumer less able to get a true sense of smell and touch, which could be used to evaluate factors such as tenderness, juiciness, and flavor."