Milk that is exposed to LED lighting loses some of its nutritional value and shelf life, according to new research.
The Newcastle University report found that high-density lighting within store cabinets reduces essential nutrients found in milk, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and Vitamin D.
The research found that milk lost half its Vitamin A after two hours exposed to LED lighting found in grocery stores, while riboflavin can decrease by 28% after just 20 minutes of indoor light exposure.
However, the report notes there is packaging designed to be light-protected - laboratory testing found that the light-protected milk retained almost all Vitamin B2 and lost only 16% of Vitamin A, while non-light-protected milk lost all Vitamin B2 and 93% of Vitamin A.
Dr Catherine Birch, Newcastle University, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, said: “While milk is just one component of a healthy diet, it is an important one, providing people with many essential nutrients including vitamins, protein and minerals.
“Many people do not realise that exposure of milk to indoor light can have a detrimental effect. The damaging effects of light can be influenced by the light intensity and time of exposure, so longer exposure to light causes milk to deteriorate faster.”