Coca Cola and rival Pepsi have both agreed to eliminate bromated vegetable oil from their soft drinks including Fanta, Fresca, Powerade, (for Coke) and Mountain Dew and Gatorade (Pepsicola Co.) brands. BVO, which was originally patented as a “fire retardant,” has been banned from use in food products in both Japan and the European Union. Coke said it would replace the additive here with sucrose acetate isobutyrate and glycerol ester of rosin (both commonly found in drinks and gum for more than a decade).
According to the Center for Science in Public Interest, the FDA first allowed the use of bromated vegetable oil in 1970, on an “interim basis,” but has never changed its status even after 34 years. However, the ingredient should now be completely phased out in the United States by the end of this year.
Many consumers first became aware of BVO in their beverages after Mississippi teen Sarah Kavanagh began an online petition to have it removed from power drinks on Change.org. Upon learning of Coca Cola’s and Pepsi’s plan to stop using it, she commented “It is really nice to know that companies, really big companies, are listening to consumers.”