Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Corn-Derived Calcium Citrate in Florida's Natural Orange Juice

I bought some Florida's Natural grapefruit juice with calcium last night.

The FN OJ with calcium was on the corn-free list, and Baby E has always done well with the FN unenriched orange juice. I had talked with the company last year and found that there were no corn derivatives in the processing or packaging of the juice, so it seemed pretty safe. I drank some and went to bed.

I woke up itchy and with mild intestinal symptoms. When Baby E nursed in the morning, she got a spotty rash on her face.

I noticed that the juice carton said it contained tricalcium citrate. That sent off warning bells for me. I'd just been reading that calcium citrate is made with citric acid. And we know that most citric acid nowadays is corn-derived.

So I called Florida's Natural. At first I got the "citric acid and calcium citrate is from fruit" line. Then she looked it up and said that her computer said the citric acid in the calcium was a byproduct of citric acid production. It was made by a fermentation process from natural ingredients--no dairy, no gluten, no soy. So she was sure it had no corn, either.

I explained that Baby E reacts to basically anything that has ever touched corn, and explained how synthetic citric acid is made. Most citric acid is made by a fermentation process that involves growing mold on a sugar/starch--usually corn based. I explained that Baby E does definitely react to citric acid grown on corn.

It wasn't until I asked if I could leave my contact information for them to let me know if they found any other information on it that she said she would check with the research department.

A while later she called me back. She said that the citric acid COULD be grown on corn, but that the research department said it was so highly refined that it contained no corn protein and nobody could possibly react to it.

I informed her about Baby E's rash, and that E does indeed react to corn-derived citric acid, and asked her to pass the information on to the research department.

If anyone else has reacted to the calcium citrate in Florida's Natural orange juice, I encourage you to let the company know: 1-888-657-6600 or use their website's contact form.

I don't know for sure if it's the mold or the corn (or both) that causes a problem in artificially-grown citric acid for Baby E and me, but something sure does.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I noticed a reaction while drinking the fortified orange juice - a tightening of my throat - a noticeable over normal type reaction to sour....I have a shellfish allergy and decided to check out tricalcium citrate -- and was overwhelmed by the chemical information - and source of the "chemical" from China possibly - I had not really thought out the particulars of calcium fortified orange juice....I steer clear of anything that may be shellfish related including sea salts, calcium carbonate, etc. I also had digestive reaction when I drank it last....it prompts me to take an antihistamine --- so I am sure that something in it is a problem for me.
I am done buying orange juice that has chemicals and thanks for your observant comments - more people need to communicate about stuff like this - people are unaware and need to be more awake.

Anonymous said...

I've also inquired and Florida Natural confirms that their calcium citrate is derived from corn

Teri said...

My 16 year old son, Sean, is highly sensitive to all corn-derived ingredients. They irritate the lining or dura of the brain and cause an unmistakable neuro-emotional response. He is unable to have tricalcium citrate. Even when it is not directly fractioned from corn, it is contaminated by fermentation process. The tricalcium citrate in Florida's Natural O.J. is a preservative, and really should not be marketed as a healthful source of calcium. Thank you so much for this blog. Please contact me at any time. - Teri