Changes in Aromatic Chemistry and Sensory Quality of Milk Due to Light Wavelength


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Virginia Tech


Gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography olfactometry (GCO) was used to determine the effect of specific light wavelengths on light oxidation in milk. The most damaging wavelengths to milk quality appear to be the UV (200-400 and 395 nm) and short visible (463 nm) wavelengths. However, exposure to 610 nm also appears to be damaging.

GC and GCO were also used to look at the efficacy of film over-wraps made from iridescent films. Single-layer over-wraps were not as effective in reducing light oxidation as multi-layer film over-wraps. Single-layer over-wrap treatments had higher numbers of odor-active compounds than multi-layer over-wrap treatments with a number of odor-active compounds detected consistently in single-layer over-wrap treatments but not in the multi-layer over-wrap treatments. Concentrations of volatile compounds were slightly lower in the multilayer treatments.

Multi-layer film over-wrap treatments were tested for light oxidation flavor intensity with a balanced incomplete block multi-sample difference test using a ranking system and a trained panel. Packaging over-wraps limited the production of light oxidation flavor in milk over time but not to the same degree as the complete light block. Blocking all visible riboflavin excitation wavelengths was better at reducing light oxidation flavor than blocking only a single visible excitation wavelength.

A method to determine light oxidation in oil using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was established and preliminary data is presented.



Wavelength, Riboflavin, Sensory, Hexanal, Milk, Lipid oxidation