Tags: fungus | capri sun | kraft | worry

Fungus in Capri Sun, But Its Maker Kraft Says Not To Worry

Friday, 03 May 2013 08:54 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Scientists have identified five types of fungus in the popular kids' juice drink Capri Sun, but researchers say parents shouldn't worry.

Kraft, the manufacturer of Capri Sun, has received complaints of mold in the Capri Sun juice packs recently, but the company says it's common for mats of fungus to grow in packs that are leaking or left open in the refrigerator, especially because their products don't contain preservatives.

Preservatives give food a longer shelf life, but some, such as the preservative nitrate have been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers.

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During the manufacturing process, the drinks are heated to temperatures that exceed those used for pasteurization. But punctures in the products' package — even microscopic ones — can allow air inside the package, and mold to grow, Kraft says.

Indiana State University researchers conducted a study recently on Capri Sun led by microbiology professor Kathleen Dannelly. In the first experiment, the team filtered Capri Sun through filter paper, extracted any fungal cells, and grew them in laboratory dishes.

In a second experiment, researchers punctured Capri Sun packages with a sterile needle to mimic damage to the product. When left in a sterile environment for three weeks, fungal mats grew in the juice.

The problem with Capri Sun, Dannelly said, is that the packs are not see-through, so unlike moldy bread or cheese, customers cannot see that there is fungus in their drinks. Kraft claims it tried making clear Capri Sun packages, but that it created a problem in manufacturing, according to MyHealthNewsDaily.com.

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"If you're going to have a package you can't see through, I think you need to do something," Dannelly said.

The fungus that may be present in a Capri Sun drink isn’t harmful to the average person though, Dannelly said, but could pose a problem to those with a weakened immune system, like people with AIDS, cystic fibrosis, or leukemia. But for the majority of Americans, it's harmless.

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