WEST CHESTER, PA | Noluma International, LLC, a startup born out of The Chemours Company, has developed a patented technology to measure the light protection capacity of packaging, leading to increased freshness, maintained taste, preservation of nutrients and even doubling the shelf life of milk and other dairy products.
It has partnered with Jersey Girls Dairy of Chester, Vermont to design their new light protected packaging for their pasteurized fresh milk brand. The packaging is designed to protect milk’s nutritional value, and maintain its freshness longer.
Research has shown that retail, refrigerator and home fluorescent and LED lights degrade the vitamins and nutrients in milk and affect its sensory characteristics as soon as an hour after light exposure. The patented light protection technology that Noluma uses to measure packaging is unique in that it assigns a light protection factor (LPF) that is tied to the integrity of the contents. Based on this, Noluma internationally certifies only packaging that achieves an LPF high enough to block damaging light.
Noluma chose to launch their services in the state of Vermont because of its renowned dairy industry and specialty food culture. The company hopes that their educational campaign and marketing investment in Jersey Girls Dairy will spill over and help lift retail milk sales in the state as a whole. The goal is to use Jersey Girl’s success as a global case study in light protection of packaging as Noluma moves forward to bring their innovative service and certification to other parts of the world. Jersey Girls is performing demonstrations at several area farmers markets to show consumers the negative effect of light on milk and the benefit of certified light-protected packaging.
Most consumers don’t understand that by the time milk is taken home from the grocery store, many of its nutrients may already be gone. Once packaged, products are constantly exposed to florescent, LED and even natural light in transit, in stores even inside refrigerators which slowly degrades the contents. Studies published last year by Cornell University and the Journal of Dairy Science have concluded that light exposure to milk affected the nutritional value and taste. The milk not only loses flavor, but also loses the intended nutritional value for consumers. In one study, after 16 hours of light exposure less than half of the vitamin A (49 percent) remained in the nonfat milk in a plastic package without light protection.
This information can be surprising, especially to parents who rely on milk to provide important nutrition to their young children or to medical professionals prescribing milk to address nutritional deficiencies. It has been found that artificial lights affect the Riboflavin in milk due to photo-oxidation, causes other nutrients and the milk itself to spoil faster-affecting taste and smell. Research shows that Vitamin B12 was reduced by 28 percent and influenced ascorbic acid content in dairy milk in a clear bottle without light protection after only an hour exposure to sunlight. Also impacted are other components of milk such as vitamins, amino acids, proteins and lipids. After 6 days of storing milk under typical fluorescent retail lighting, a 58 percent reduction in Vitamin A occurred in typical jug packaging.