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Light and Meat
Fresh Pork Displays in Supermarket Meat Display Cases

Pork color is the most critical deciding factor for consumers when they select pork cuts.Pork color is the most critical deciding factor for consumers when they select pork cuts from supermarket meat display cases. Studies have found that pork shelf life is limited more by the development of a brown or grey color, which develops long before the meat has spoiled, than by any other factor. For pork, this discoloration is accelerated by increased surface temperatures which can result from using meat display lighting that emits large quantities of UV and harmful visible spectrum radiation. These increased temperatures can also cause pork fat to become rancid.

PROMOLUX True Color Definition Lamps and LEDs

PROMOLUX Safe Spectrum balanced full spectrum fluorescent lamps and LEDs emit lower levels of heat and ultraviolet radiation than regular supermarket fluorescent lamps, thus reducing the rate of pork decomposition. Compared to other fluorescent lighting, PROMOLUX lamps emit 86% lower UV B radiation, a shorter wavelength that penetrates and causes heating, and 52% lower UV A radiation, a longer wavelength that tends to affect surfaces.

Because PROMOLUX lamps and LEDs are designed for true color definition, they have a more balanced visible spectrum than other fluorescent lamps. The yellow and green wavelengths that are predominant in regular fluorescent lighting are the most damaging wavelengths in the visible spectrum. PROMOLUX lamps emit a more balanced range of wavelengths, including more of the red and blue wavelengths and more moderate levels of the yellow and green wavelengths.

It is impossible to create a natural light that does not have any yellow or green wavelengths, so light sources will always be damaging to some extent. However, in a study conducted by the University of Zaragoza, meat that was displayed under PROMOLUX low UV balanced spectrum lamps stayed nearly as fresh as meat kept in the dark, while meat that was displayed under regular fluorescent lighting quickly turned brown and began to decompose.


Pork color was found to be a major consideration for consumers in their decision to buy pork cuts. Consumers tended to avoid pale and wet pork, preferring cuts that were medium or dark pink and then within that category preferring the dryer cuts. <more...>

When exposed to light and high temperatures resulting from light radiation, pork is affected in two ways. First, microorganisms grow exponentially and cause the pork to turn brown or grey and to spoil. Second, pork fats are vulnerable to lipid oxidation which leads to rancidity. <more...>

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