Chivita Apple
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Fungus found in Chivita Apple Juice

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By Dr. Biodun Ogungbo

I poured some apple juice into a glass and took a sip. It tasted foul. Not pure apple juice. Like there was fermentation and some alcohol in it. So, I poured it all down the drain. However, there remained something in the pack, so I opened it and found a mass of formless matter in the pack of Chivita Apple Juice (100% pure juice). It was sickening to see this and I instantly felt sick to my stomach.

I took the material to the laboratory for further analysis and subjected it to various tests. The formless matter turns out to be a type of fungus called ASPERGILLUS NIGER. The yeast and mold count were incredibly high and unsatisfactory in food processed for consumption. Aspergillus species are filamentous fungi that are commonly found in soil, decaying vegetation, and seeds and grains, where they thrive as saprophytes. It found its way into my Apple juice.

The manufacturer is Chi Ltd. Chi Ltd refers to itself as one of the most admired companies in the food and beverages industry in Nigeria. It offers products that themselves are benchmarks in their respective categories of juice, dairy and snacks. Chi Ltd prides itself on its website as the undisputed leader in Nigeria.

My stomach begs to differ.

Unfortunately, the internet is filled with such horror stories and images. Therefore, this is nothing new. A little research online reveals a significant number of articles and reports about fungus found in food in Nigeria. The market leader appears to be Chi Ltd. Many reports in the past and now this. It does not seem that much has changed.

The level of mycological associates of twelve brands of fruit juice (Five alive citrus burst, Dansa orange, Dansa apple, Dansa mango, Frutta apple, Frutta orange, Frutta mango, Chivita apple, Chivita pineapple, Chivita mango, Chivita orange and Five apple splash) sold in Anambra state have been studied.

The study in 2019 revealed that Aspergillus sp were the most predominant isolates in fruit juices (Chivita pineapple) studied. The study, thus suggest that such level of Aspergillus sp (mould) in Chivita pineapple is not safe for human consumption.

One report suggests that diseases caused by filamentous fungal human pathogens have increased considerably, although they remain underestimated. Immuno-suppressed people are susceptible, such as individuals with AIDS and those undergoing transplantation and chemotherapy, although ordinary healthy individuals can also succumb. The presence of these fungi in/on foods represents a threat to us all.

Will you help me get the ear of Chi Ltd, Nigeria?

 

Dr. Biodun Ogungbo is a brain and spine specialist

 

 

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