Monday, 27 May 2013

Fungus in Capri Sun - Is it a problem?

Reports of consumers discovering mould in this drink led to a study that found five types of fungus in the drink.

Despite the discovery of the fungi in the drink, researchers have said that they probably are not harmful to most people. However, a potential health concern could be to those without a healthy immune system; such as those with AIDS, leukaemia or cystic fibrosis. We think those suffering from respiratory problems caused by fungi should also be very cautious handling these preservative free drinks.

The temperatures to which the drinks are exposed to during the manufacturing process exceed those used for pasteurization, but damage to the products' package can allow the oxygen needed for mould to grow inside the package.

Unlike many products that are common for growing moulds, consumers cannot tell when Capri Sun goes bad due to the packaging being opaque. Attempts to create clear packages were stopped after it created manufacturing problems.

Another solution to the issue would be to add preservatives to the product, which the company (Kraft) will not do because their customers do not want this. Some preservatives , such as preservative nitrate, have been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers. Suggestions of adding natural preservatives, such as citric acid, have been made. However, this would change the flavour of the product making it more acidic.

This report raises an important issue for those who advocate reducing the amount of preservatives in our foods. Which is the more potentially harmful - preservative or the ensuing contamination that you may accidentally swallow? And which is likely to be the more damaging to a manufacturers profits?

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