Gatorade Removes Controversial BVO After Consumer Outcry
It looks as if a controversial ingredient in Gatorade is finally being removed. Customer complaints have prompted PepsiCo Inc. to rethink its line of energy drinks and take out an "emulsifier" known as brominated vegetable oil, which is the component that helps distribute flavoring evenly so that it doesn't collect at the surface.
The announcement comes after a bevy of feedback from consumers. Change.org recently launched a petition led by a Mississippi teenager to remove the ingredient, though a spokeswoman from PepsiCo stated that the new decision had nothing to do with the petition and that they had been considering the move for some time now. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not banned the ingredient, but customer feedback prompted the company to make the switch.
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Ingredients in many products have come under greater scrutiny in recent years. Customers are sitting up and taking note of exactly what they are consuming. The petition on Change.org, which had more than 200,000 supporters on Friday, stated that brominated vegetable oil has been patented as a flame retardant and is banned in Japan and the European Union. The ingredient is only featured in select flavors of Gatorade, such as citrus cooler, but it was enough to garner the outcry of thousands of consumers.
Yet it isn't only Gatorade that holds this ingredient. Coca-Cola's Fanta and PepsiCo's Mountain Dew also contains brominated vegetable oil. In addition, some flavors of Powerade also hold the ingredient, though Coca-Cola Co. currently has no plans to remove it.
In Gatorade, the ingredient will be replaced by sucrose acetate isobutyrate, which will help maintain the flavor and taste of the drinks.