(June 18) Food Touch liners have proven effective in retarding bacteria growth on seafood, and that, perhaps, indicates the success the liners could have in the produce industry.

“Seafood says it all because it spoils by the second,” said Tony Salemi, president of Des Plaines, Ill.-based Microbeguard, manufacturers of Food Touch. “It is a bacteria and mold inhibitor. It’s not going to fix it, but it will help prevent (mold and bacteria) from growing.”

The antimicrobial, polyethylene-coated liners have air pockets that enhance the cooling process and reduce shrink, while offering a pre-emptive solution against contamination when produce is shipped, stored or displayed, he said.

A few restaurants have used the liners to store their berries, Las Vegas’ Wynn Hotel lines its salad bowls with Food Touch, and multiple produce companies are running trials on the produce, Salemi said.

Still, Salemi believes the liners are an untapped opportunity in the produce world, particularly for companies that are using regular paper or corrugated boxes — which he said essentially trap bacteria — and for exporters and importers.

“If someone’s using paper, paper’s doing nothing for them,” he said. “When paper gets wet, it breaks and sticks to the product and absorbs mold.”

Microbeguard also can customize the Food Touch liners to meet customers’ needs, he said. They come in white, black, peach and lime green, and can have company information printed on them, he said.