There are many challenges to running a grocery supply chain, including maintaining tight controls over your food's freshness, temperature, and location. But one of the toughest problems to address can't even be seen by the human eye—the growth of bacteria on pallet surfaces.
One pallet vendor is now tackling that issue through a partnership with a provider of antimicrobial and odor-control technologies. Oxford, Mich.-based pallet manufacturer Lightning Technologies says it is working with the antimicrobial engineering firm Microban International of Huntersville, N.C., to treat its pallets with technology that automatically inhibits the growth of bacteria.
The new pallets could help solve a long-standing sanitation problem for produce and meat growers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and food retailers, according to Lightning Technologies CEO Jeffrey Owen. "The growth of bacteria on coated and untreated wood pallets has been a significant vulnerability for all food-related industries," he noted in a release.
The antimicrobial enhancement is the latest upgrade to Lightning's pallets, which also feature embedded radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips that can connect to an Internet of Things (IoT) network to help shippers monitor location, temperature, impact, and humidity, the firm says.