Fungus In Capri Sun: Is It Harmful To Your Child? [PHOTO]

By iScienceTimes Staff on May 3, 2013 4:40 PM EDT

Capri Sun Mold
Consumers have found fungus in packages of Capri Sun. (Photo: Twitter: iTweetFacts)

Researchers say they've identified five types of fungus in the kids' juice drink Capri Sun.

The Indiana State University study came about after consumers reported finding mold in their drinks. While gross-looking, the fungal mats are most likely not harmful, according to professor Kathleen Dannelly, the study researcher.

"Probably, those of us with healthy immune systems, we could even eat that, and that wouldn't be a problem," Dannelly said of the mold, adding that people with compromised immune systems from things such as AIDS of cystic fibrosis may be at risk from fungal exposure.  

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Kraft, the manufacturer of Capri Sun, says on their site that while the mold "can be ugly, gross and totally unappealing," it's a natural occurrence and is not any more cause for concern than if it were bread mold: "Mold that forms on food and beverages is usually a common mold. It's generally much like common bread mold, though it may look different depending on where it forms." 

Mold can grow when the Capri Sun package is punctured, even if punctured microscopically, allowing air to get into the package. Once oxygen is introduced, fungi and bacteria will likely grow.

Kraft has acknowledge that adding preservatives to Capri Sun could alleviate the problem, but they say that consumers don't want them to do so. Certain preservatives have been linked to cancer -- not exactly something you want associated with juice for kids.

But Dannelly says that a natural preservative like citric acid would be safe for Kraft to add to the drink, though it might make it taste more acidic. She added, "If you're going to have a package you can't see through, I think you need to do something."

Capri Sun comes in an opaque foil pouch. Kraft says that they attempted to create a clear package for the juice, but that manufacturing problems prevented them from doing so. Kraft urges consumers to throw out any Capri Sun package which has been punctured.

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