Food like fresh meat, fish or cheese which is exposed openly in the cooling area can spoil very quickly due to inefficient lighting. The resulting development of bacteria doesn’t only have negative impact on quality but also changes e.g. meat colour from red to brown. In order to define countermeasures for this effect it’s important to understand the biochemical process of colour change:
The colourant myoglobin in meat gets degraded by the oxidation of oxygen, especially through dehydration. The resulting metmyoglobin finally changes the typical red meat colour to brown. Temperature influences the colour changing process significantly as well. Therefore it’s essential to minimize heat radiation of lighting within the cooling areas. In addition ultraviolet radiation increases the oxidation.