Capri Sun is full of sugar -- and fungus.
That's what a research project at Indiana State University discovered when two scientists found five kinds of fungus in the popular drink.
"As far as I can tell, the fact that they don't put preservatives in this is really allowing lots of fungi to survive the drink process," Kathleen Dannelly, associate professor of microbiology, who conducted the experiment, said.
For the past year Dannelly and senior biology major Leah Horn filtered Capri Sun through a vacuum to see if any fungal microbes remained behind and grew on filter paper.
They found five: three from the tropical punch flavor, one from the Roaring Waters flavor, and one from the fruit punch flavor.
Surprisingly, this isn’t a new concern for Capri Sun.
On its official FAQ page, Kraft Foods explains that mold grows on its popular drink “from time to time because the product is preservative free” but reassures its customers that “it is more of a quality than a safety issue.”
In its labs, Kraft found the drink’s mold is similar the one found on bread and is generally not harmful.
Dannelly agrees but warns that it could be harmful for some.
“For the majority of people, other than being grossed out when you open a package and it has a large fungal mat, which is a really nasty-looking thing, it will probably not hurt you," Dannelly said. "However, in patients who are immune-compromised and with some other underlying diseases, this could create a health concern for them."
For this very reason, Capri Sun warns consumers to discard any packages that are leaking or damaged.
This isn’t the first time Capri Sun has made the news for unsightly discoveries in its pouches.
Last year, a North Carolina boy almost choked on a worm in his Capri Sun, WSO-TV reports. The company responded by saying that it might have been mold.
Christian Stewart, the boy’s mother, said she’s not taking any more chances.
"Now, honestly, I'm going to buy drinks that I can see into to make sure there's nothing in them," she said.