Capri Sun is mold-free, and now you can see for yourself. Starting this month, the juice pouches in the U.S. will have a clear bottom, a change that comes after consumers reported finding mold in the silver pouches last year. For its part, Kraft is using this as an opportunity to remind people that there are no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors in Capri Sun: ”The reality is, mold spores are literally everywhere,” said Caroline Krajewski, a spokeswoman for Kraft Foods (KRFT) in an e-mail. ”Most foods, especially those without artificial preservatives, eventually spoil and get moldy.”
Mold-related quality concerns have been dogging Capri Sun for years. In 2012, one consumer thought her son found a worm in the pouch. (Kraft said at the time, “we believe what she’s identified as a worm may actually be mold.”) Another post on Facebook (FB) in 2013 claimed that after taking a sip of juice that “tasted like straight alcohol,” the consumer discovered mold inside.
Capri Sun responded on Facebook that safety is its top priority, but “if mold does occur, we completely agree that it can be unsightly and gross, but it is not harmful and is more of a quality issue rather than a safety issue.”
The company says it invested millions of dollars in its “packaging, quality and manufacturing processes to make our pouches even stronger and more resistant to leaks.” The bottoms are clear so that consumers “will be able to more easily check pouches that may have been punctured or are leaking,” said Krajewski. Here are some excerpts from the company’s FAQ, which has been updated to address the new packaging and the mold concerns:
Why does mold grow in preservative-free juice drinks?
Although it’s very rare, it is possible for food mold to grow inside containers of preservative-free juice drinks that are exposed to air. What usually forms is a common food mold, similar to what might grow on fruit or bread. In the past, experts have told us there are no significant or long-term health effects associated with consuming this type of mold.
What kind of mold is it?
We’ve had an independent lab analyze a sample and it was confirmed to be mold—a common food mold, similar to what might grow on fruit or bread. Experts have told us there is no significant or long-term health effects associated with consuming this type of mold, though we understand how bad of an experience it can be.
The photo I saw looks like a worm. How could you say it’s mold?
In some cases when people think they have found a “worm” inside a Capri Sun pouch it was actually mold. The mold takes the form of a straw, which can then be mistaken as a worm since it is long and thin. While this is not a common occurrence, it can potentially happen because the product is free of artificial preservatives.