CHELSEA, Mass., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Milk may be the stuff of strong
bones and healthy teeth but the beverage itself is delicate. Food scientists
have known for decades that light can damage milk's flavor and nutrients.
Translucent plastic bottles, which are widely favored by consumers because of
convenience and account for more than 85 percent of all milk sales, provide
little protection against light damage.
Now HP Hood, New England's premier dairy, is the first in the region to
offer milk in an opaque, plastic LightBlock Bottle(TM) that protects both
flavor and nutrients. Making the product still more nutritious is the fact
that all Hood milk is now fortified with a significant level of vitamin C --
an eight ounce glass provides 25 percent of the recommended daily value for
vitamin C. While some dairies in other regions offer colored plastic bottles,
Hood is the only dairy to offer consumers the benefits of a pigmented, light
protective plastic bottle and vitamin C fortification.
In developing this new product, Hood was seeking to do no less than
"reinvent milk," according to Jeff Stephen, Hood's executive vice president
and chief operating officer. "Hood milk was already acknowledged as the
premium milk in New England," he said. "We were faced with the task of making
a great food more perfect. We are doing this in three ways: We have developed
a LightBlock BottleTM that is seven times more effective in blocking harmful
light than conventional translucent plastic bottles, we have enriched our milk
with vitamin C to create a 'power drink,' and we have created a unique gallon
bottle design that is more contemporary and easy to pour."
"Since 1895 when Hood introduced pasteurization of milk to the Northeast,
we have been known for innovation in the dairy industry. Extending that
tradition of innovation was one of our priorities when we purchased the
company almost two years ago," said John Kaneb, president of HP Hood. "Now,
we are proud to be the first dairy to offer consumers vitamin C fortified milk
in packaging that protects its quality while also offering the convenience of
gallon and half gallon plastic jugs."
Hood Vice President of Research & Development Don Erickson, who has guided
the development of Hood products for more than 36 years, compares producing
milk to developing a great tasting wine. "Milk, like wine, has to be handled
with care from start to finish," he explained. "Good tasting milk starts with
proper feed and care for the dairy cows, careful processing, and proper
handling by the retailer and the consumer. Putting Hood milk into LightBlock
Bottles(TM) is an important step we can take to help ensure that our milk has
the best possible taste."
Without proper protection, milk can easily be damaged. "More than
50 studies by scientists in the United States, Canada, and Europe since the
middle of this century have concluded that light -- artificial and natural
-- damages milk," said Sidney Barnard, retired professor of food science
at Pennsylvania State University who has studied the effect of light on milk
for many years. "When exposed to even 20 minutes of sunlight, milk in
translucent plastic containers begins to develop a tallowy, woody or ox
idized taste. In some studies, half or more of the milk samples had
pronounced light induced flavors when sampled within 36 hours of purchase,
and three out of four consumers found these off flavors objectionable."
The damage goes far beyond poor flavor, according to Professor David
Bandler of Cornell University, Food Science Extension. "Light exposure
destroys many nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and B2 (riboflavin).
Nutritional losses due to light may be severe. For example, up to 50
percent of some vitamins may be lost after 24 hours of exposure to
fluorescent light. Sunlight is even more destructive. Pigmented plastic
jugs protect milk's nutrition."
Hood's decision to fortify its new milk with vitamin C is a significant
innovation, according to Liz Ward, registered dietitian, author, and
consultant to HP Hood. "Vitamin C contributes to health in many ways,"
she said. "It promotes bone health, it is an antioxidant, and it helps
keep the immune system strong. Yet, according to the USDA, more than
40 percent of adults do not get the recommended daily allowance of this
"Now consumers can drink a glass of milk and get a significant amount of
vitamin C as well as the many other essential vitamins and minerals that
milk provides," Ms Ward continued. "The LightBlock Bottle(TM) also gives
consumers assurance that these nutrients are protected against light
damage, and they will, in fact, receive the maximum possible nutrition
from the milk they buy."
Tests by Cornell University and independent laboratories confirm that the
bottle blocks damaging light seven times more effectively than the
conventional translucent gallon bottle; reduces losses of vitamins A, C,
and B2 (riboflavin), and protects flavor.
Hood's new LightBlock Bottle(TM) is the result of nearly a year of
extensive planning and testing. The blown mold plastic containers feature an
opaque white color, the color preferred by 74 percent of consumers; an
easy pour handle on the gallon bottle; sleeker, more contemporary styling;
and larger, brighter new labels. While the LightBlock Bottle(TM) offers a
striking new look, it fits in standard
SOURCE HP Hood