Challenging a man's claim that he found a mouse in his Mountain Dew, it's hard to say whether Pepsi Co. won or lost the battle with its defense in a small court. That defense? Not possible — Mountain Dew would have reduced that mouse to jelly by the time it was opened 15 months after bottling, according to the company's experts.
I think I speak for all humanity when I say, despite the fact we may have been able to deduce this from it's otherworldly glow, let's give a resounding: gross!
Pepsi's experts aside, could the Dew do this? Believe it or not, some independent sources are saying it could, pointing the finger at citric acid. Citric acid, which is found naturally in citrus fruits exists as a powder in its purified form, and is added to citrus-based soft drinks to give them their zing. It also means it lowers the pH of the drink and makes the drink highly acidic.
Yan-Fang Ren of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, who has studied the effects of citric acid on bones and teeth spoke to the website LifesLittleMysteries: "I think it's plausible that it could dissolve a mouse in a few months. But dissolving [the mouse] does not mean it will disappear, because you'll still have the collagen and soft tissue part. It will be like rubber."
That sounds like mouse jelly where I'm from.
If you think this is old news given that Coke is the soda with the rep for dissolving nails, forget that. The Dew is the new digestive devil.
A study led by dentist J. Anthony von Fraunhofer found citrus sodas like Mountain Dew erode tooth enamel six times faster than colas that use phosphoric acid for their taste. Fraunhofer's experiment soaked human molars in Mountain Dew for two weeks — the time estimated to be comparable to 13 years of average exposure. The molar's enamel lost six percent of its volume; molars in Coke lost just over one percent. Diet Dew? It eroded eight percent.
So the acid in Mountain Dew would act on the mouse bones in the same way as it breaks down the chemical bonds in teeth. In fact, the acid has a "chelating effect" that means it actually combines with the calcium in teeth and bones to dissolve them faster.
There are those that will staunchly defend the Dew, mouse jelly or no mouse jelly.
They'll say it is as acidic as orange juice — that's true according to Ren, though orange juice has some nutritional value. Second, you would have to hold Mountain Dew in your mouth for two weeks straight for it to dissolve anything. Also true.
But the claim was based on the mouse apparently being in the can for 15 months — more than enough time to reduce a mouse to jelly. The claimant reportedly vomited after a swig of the soda and then dumped the contents into a Styrofoam cup and found the mouse. Pepsi lawyers argue identifying the mouse would be impossible at that point.
As there is no evidence left, coupled with the mouse jelly defense, it seems the claimant doesn't have a leg to stand on.