Coca-Cola to remove controversial additive BVO from sports drinks

It will be removed following concerns BVO is linked to flame retardants

Coca-Cola has announced plans to remove a controversial flavouring stabiliser from their Powerade drinks, following concerns an element of the ingredient is also found in flame retardants.

The move follows PepsiCo's decision to remove the ingredient, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), which is not approved for use as a food additive in Japan or the European Union.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic said health concerns over BVO have been raised because it contains bromine, an element it said is found in brominated flame retardants. BVO is also used in Coca-Cola fruit drinks such as Fanta.

Medical researchers there said excessive consumption of BVO has been linked to memory loss and skin and nerve problems.

The decision by Coca-Cola to remove BVO from Powerade comes as food makers feel the increasing pressure to reconsider food practices and follows Subway’s commitment to removing the so-called ‘yoga mat chemical’ azodicarbonamide earlier this year, which is reportedly linked to respiratory issues, allergies and asthma.

PepsiCo dropped the ingredient from its Gatorade drinks last year. At the time, Coca-Cola declined to say whether it would remove the ingredient from the two flavours of Powerade that contain it as well.

Coca-Cola spokesman Josh Gold insisted the decision to remove BVO was not because of a safety issue. "All of our beverages, including those with BVO, are safe and always have been - and comply with all regulations in the countries where they are sold," he said in a statement.

"The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority."

The Food and Drug Administration says BVO is used as a stabiliser for flavouring oils in fruit-flavoured drinks. Coca-Cola has said in the past that it uses it to "improve stability and prevent certain ingredients from separating."

The beverage company will replace BVO with sucrose acetate isobutyrate or glycerol ester of rosine, which is typically found in chewing gum.

Campaigning against BVO has been led by Mississippi teenager Sarah Kavanagh, who said she questioned why it was being used in Gatorade and Powerade, drinks designed for health-conscious athletes.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in