Lumileds have launched a new product that aims to ‘enhance’ the appearance of supermarket produce.
The company’s LED FreshFocus Technology has been designed to showcase fruit and vegetables in their freshest and most appealing state, in order to tempt consumers to buy more.
The news comes as it was recently revealed that several U.S. supermarkets have begun to sell 'ugly' fruit and vegetables in response to customer’s concerns about produce that may be thrown away when it doesn’t meet retailer’s high standards.
The LED technology enhances the appearance of different food types through spectra engineering, which highlights particular parts of the colour spectrum.
Greens, reds and yellows are given precedence in order to attempt to improve the appearance of fresh produce on the often harshly lit supermarket shelves.
Wal-Mart announced in July that it would be selling a brand of apples called 'I’m Perfect'. The apples have some cosmetic issues, such as being misshapen or having blemishes on their skins, but are nutritionally exactly the same as prim and proper apples passed for sale. The ugly apples are sold at a discount.
Walmart stores have also been selling 'Spuglies' a brand of misshapen potatoes and Asda in the UK has recently started selling selling discounted boxes of in-season wonky vegetables, highlighting the point that appearance is not everything.
When it comes to fruit and vegetables LED is also being used in the growing process. It was recently revealed that two Japanese vertical farms have successfully grown large crops of lettuces and herbs under horticultural LED lighting. The farms in question were able to produce 12,000 heads of lettuce per day during the trial.