Anchor says its light-proof milk bottles do work after Consumer NZ test

Fonterra, which owns the Anchor brand, says it's been proven that milk is damaged by exposure to light.
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Fonterra, which owns the Anchor brand, says it's been proven that milk is damaged by exposure to light.

Anchor is standing by its light-proof bottles after Consumer NZ said it found they don't protect milk from degradation.

The chief executive of the consumer watchdog, Sue Chetwin, said that inhouse testing revealed there were no nutritional benefits to Anchor's light-proof milk containers.

Chetwin said Fonterra, which released the bottles in 2013, originally claimed that the light-proof opaque packaging preserved vitamin A and B2 from degrading in strong light during the delivery process.

Since Consumer NZ's report, Anchor has changed its claims stating that the packaging kept the milk tasting fresh.

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"We didn't do a test on longevity, we did a test on their claims that the opaque bottles better preserving vitamin A and B2 and that would make them better than its competitors," Chetwin said. 

Consumer NZ tested Anchor's trim milk with four other milk brands and found its claims were misleading, Chetwin said.

Fonterra, which owns the Anchor brand, said it had been proven that milk was damaged by exposure to light.

"Most milk, regardless of the brand or manufacturer, contains similar amounts of vitamins A and B2," said a Fonterra spokesman.

"When light interacts with these vitamins it can break them down into free radicals - the biggest driver of protein and fat oxidation in milk. When these degrade, that's when milk starts to taste oxidised. 

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"When we prevent light from hitting the milk, we stop these reactions - so milk tastes as good at the end of shelf life as when we first bottled it," he said.

"In addition, we have undertaken extensive sampling with thousands of Kiwis from around the country who have told us they prefer milk that is free from the effects of light strike." 

Three months after the launch of the light-proof Anchor milk bottles, customers had complained that milk was curdling before its use-by date.

The light-proof bottle is made of three layers of plastic - a white interior and exterior with a black sheet of plastic sandwiched in-between.

On Anchor's Facebook page, consumers have also complained about the milk bottle leaking. 

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 - Stuff

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