Canadian Packaging

Can LED lights extend shelf life of meat?

Research study says shelf life and cost savings can be gained through use of LED lighting in refrigeration units.


February 13, 2012
by Canadian Packaging Staff

According to a Kansas State University research study, meat retailers could save millions of dollars annually if they used LED (light-emitting diode) lights in their refrigeration units.

The study compared the industry usage of the more commonly utilized fluorescent lighting versus LED lights, and concluded that LED lights in refrigeration units save energy and extend the shelf life of some beef products.

The results imply that not only will it mean less spoilage, but retailers can also sell the product at its full price for a longer period of time.

The study looked at five different meat products: pork loin chops;  beef loin steaks; ground beef; ground turkey; and beef inside round steaks— in refrigeration units with both types of lighting and studied discoloration, rancidity and operating efficiency.

“Most meat products displayed under LED lighting had colder internal product temperatures, which helps extend product shelf life,” said a representative of the research team. “Beef loin steaks and inside round steaks that were stored under LED lights can have up to one day longer shelf life.”

In terms of operational costs, LED lights had fewer cycles per running hour, making them a more efficient and cost-saving light source than fluorescent lights.

The thesis is available electronically through the KSU library and K-REx HERE.






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