Champagne: The lighting recipe to limit discoloration and lipid oxidation of cheese

AH XL case study

Rich, creamy cheese

A curated selection of world cheeses — it’s often a foodie’s favourite spot in the supermarket. But how can you best display your wares while also maintaining freshness and peak quality? The answer lies in a lighting recipe that meets all expectations.

SPAR Wespelaar Belgium

Preserve the freshness

While the fats in cheese are what gives this delicious food its richness, they’re also problematic when it comes to properly lighting this area of the supermarket. When cheese is exposed to light, the fats (or lipids) begin to oxidise — first changing the cheese’s appearance and then altering its taste and smell. This process occurs in only a few days. Light-induced discolouration and lipid oxidation can put customers off buying the product and could influence their enjoyment of the cheese if they do decide to purchase it.

Experience Champagne: the fresh food LED recipe for cheese

Our research:

  • There is a large effect of light spectrum on the amount of lipid oxidation. The amount created by conventional lamps is much higher than when cheese is illuminated by LEDs. Optimising the LED spectrum can further reduce lipid oxidation.
  • Lipid oxidation can penetrate up to 0.5 cm into the cheese.
  • We discovered that once cheese is exposed to lighting, the process of lipid oxidation continues in the dark. If the store uses traditional lighting, the increase in the dark is greater than when LEDs are used.

Graph 1a Amount of lipid oxidation

Effect of spectrum and illuminance on lipid oxidation. Data after 10 days illumination. Red threshold line is based on sensory evaluations in literature: above this line odour and taste affected by light.

Graph 1b Level of discolouration

Effect of spectrum and light exposure duration on discolouration. Results for illumination level of 1000 lx.

Increase the lure of the Cheese section with: Champagne

Based on the research we developed a dedicated spectral tuned Fresh Food LED recipe, called Champagne, which translates into:

  • Display cheese attractively.
  • Help to preserve it for freshness.


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