PepsiCo has moved to clarify the reasons behind its blacklisting by a Chinese watchdog which covers product quality of food and drink imports into the country.

The drinks and snacks firm was named last week in a monthly report from a Chinese state council watchdog charged with monitoring product quality. The body claimed that PepsiCo had imported around 38 tons of frozen concentrated orange juice into China from a company in Brazil in July, which was found to contain excess yeast. The presence of too much yeast in a product tends to spoil it faster.

When contacted by just-drinks yesterday (21 September), a spokesperson for PepsiCo said: "All products produced by PepsiCo in China fully comply with Chinese government standards and are 100% safe for consumers to drink and enjoy.

"The juice raw materials shipments we rejected from overseas suppliers were detected by PepsiCo as part of our standard rigorous raw material screening process prior to importation into China. We proactively alerted Chinese customs to ensure all rejected juice raw materials were turned back at the port prior to entering China."

The shipment has since been returned to the supplier, PepsiCo noted.

Last month, authorities in Beijing backed away from an official report that labelled PepsiCo as one of the city's worst water polluters, an allegation the firm strongly contested.