New Packaging Aims to Prevent Produce Spoilage

There’s an old saying that “one bad apple spoils the whole barrel.” But that may no longer be the case thanks to new materials being developed by UC Davis researchers to line produce bins and for reusable packaging.

Professor with plastic films.

UC Davis food scientist Nitin Nitin with samples of antifouling, antibacterial plastic. The material could be used for packaging and for lining produce bins.

The goal is to produce plastics that both repel bacteria and reduce food-spoilage microbes. The antimicrobial activity comes from chlorine bound to the plastic. It would be recharged by rinsing with a bleach solution.