On Saturday, 5 September, Pioneer Foods issued a national recall of a single batch of 330ml cans of Liqui Fruit red grape juice, based on the likelihood that the substance found in the juice by three consumers were shards of glass. The company has now confirmed that what was previously visually identified as glass
is in fact crystals of a naturally occurring substance in products of grapes called potassium bitartrate.
Tertius Carstens, CEO of Pioneer Foods/PepsiCo sub-Saharan Africa explains that an investigation was immediately launched as to the root cause and extent of the issue.
“Following extensive elemental testing at separate specialist laboratories, we have since received confirmation that the glass-like crystals seen in the Liqui Fruit 330ml red grape juice is in fact the crystalline form of a substance that is commonly found in high concentrations in grapes and products of grapes."
“The initial visual assessment by a laboratory of the sample as provided by a consumer indicated the matter to be glass. We opted to trigger the recall whilst we awaited the outcome of the technical analysis of the matter given the health and safety risk associated with the potential presence of glass in the product,” states Carstens.
The National Consumer Commission has received information from Pioneer Foods on its intention to recall a batch of Liqui fruit Red Grape Still 330ml cans...
7 Sep 2020
Recall remains in place
Grapes naturally contain both tartaric acid and potassium. When these two elements bind together under chilly conditions they form potassium bitartrate crystals that present as glass-like particles. Potassium bitartrate is a natural occurring material and non-toxic and commonly known as cream of tartar when used as a cooking aid.
Given the presence of the crystals the recall is continuing and consumers are urged not to consume or dispose of the product but to return it for a full refund.
Tertius Carstens, the current CEO of Pioneer Foods, has been appointed CEO of PepsiCo sub-Saharan Africa with immediate effect...
19 May 2020
To date Pioneer Foods has approximately 70% of the product out of general circulation and under its control.
“We’d like to thank all our retail and distribution partners, the National Consumer Commission and most importantly our loyal consumers for their understanding and assistance with this recall. We also apologise for any anxiety caused whilst we awaited the outcome of the detailed analysis of the crystals,” concludes Carstens.