Scientists in Italy have developed a new test to improve the accuracy of food and drink expiration dates.
A study published today in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry reports that by taking light sensitivity into account more reliable predictions of shelf life can be made.
Researchers found that although the bright lights of retail displays are known to cause colour fading and loss of nutrients, testing currently only considers heat.
The report states that results of the study “clearly showed that shelf life testing of light-sensitive foods must take into proper account the effect of light,” adding that its recommendations could solve “the difficult task of predicting shelf life of photosensitive foods usually marketed in the presence of light”.
Science Daily has reported that consumers may benefit from the research as they will be able to select fresher foods.
According to the Food Standards Agency, a third of the food bought in the UK is thrown away, most of which could have been safely eaten.