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If you are planning on establishing your own grocery store, then you must at first obtain concrete understanding of the connection between light and food toxicity. Almost every kind of food in the world is directly exposed to light in one way or the other. Some foods are left under the open sun, while other absorb light from artificial man made sources during processing, packaging, storage, shipping and marketing.
The effects of direct exposure to light
Many retailers are not fully aware of the threat that direct exposure to lighting poses. In fact, when foods are exposed to excessive light, the quality of the food deteriorates. This results in the food becoming discolored, developing off flavors or losing its nutrients. Any one of these unpleasant and unwanted effects of light exposure can jeopardize the business of a food retailer. In other words, food retailers who are not doing enough to prevent photodegradation of food are losing out financially.
Factors affecting the light sensitivity of foods
The light sensitivity of food refers to how likely it is to be adversely affected by light when directly exposed to a natural or artificial light source. There are many factors which influence the light sensitivity of food. Here are some of the main factors that you should be aware of:
- The duration of exposure to light
- The distance between the light source and the food
- The strength of the light and the type of light that is being emitted
- The oxygen concentration of the food
- The temperature
Light induced changes
There are two ways in which light induced changes take place in food. The first process involves the absorption of light by a component of the food that directly undergoes a chemical reaction, which leads to the photodegradation of food. In the second process, the presence of light causes one component of the food to trigger a chemical reaction in another component of the food. Much like the first process, the second process can also result in the deterioration of food.
Not all types of light affect food
Now that you have learned about the harmful effects that inferior food display lighting can have on your perishable goods, you might be planning to get rid of food display cases altogether. That is no solution to solving the problem of photo degradation of food.
You need to realize that not all types of light are harmful for your food. For example, Promolux food safe lighting is a unique variant of a specialized merchandising lamp that can be used for meat display lighting, deli display case lighting, bakery display case lighting and any other form of retail food lighting.
Food safe lighting will not deteriorate the quality of your food. It will not result in photodegradation and will not cause a reduction in the shelf life of food. In fact, you can achieve shelf life extension using Promolux food safe lighting.