A new study by Norwegian Food Research Institute Matforsk has concluded that light needs to be combated if food is to retain maximum quality. The research findings will now be applied to other food groups.
Project leader Thomas Eie at Matforsk said that the test had examined different coloured packaging for ice cream, to examine the extent of light damage and which colours might provide protection. Eie expects their findings to apply to other types of food, newspaper Aftenposten reports.
Eie said that light waves clearly reduced food quality and damaged taste, and the results were clearest in direct sunlight. He said that sunlight could render milk undrinkable in under a minute and that heating was not a major factor, with light causing damage faster than bacteria could develop.
Researchers are examining a range of possible solutions to combat current food conditions of exposure in transparent packaging and long opening hours.
The study of dairy products identified the most harmful types of light and the most protective colours, and analysed issues involving ultra-violet rays and the combined effects of light and air on food quality.