Created on: January 28, 2013 Last Updated: January 30, 2013
People that fashion themselves to be workout warriors know that after putting in the gym time, one needs to replenish fluids quickly. For decades, that has meant grabbing an ice cold Gatorade and guzzling it down. Gatorade is said to replenish those sweated out electrolytes faster than a bottle of water or a glass of juice. What many do not know is that there is a chemical in the citrus flavored Gatorade that no one would want coursing through their veins.
That chemical is called brominated vegetable oil (BVO), which contains an ingredient called Bromine in it. Does that word Bromine sound familiar? If it does, it is because it is found in any number of flame retardants. Imagine that thought as one tops off their workout by finishing off a 16 ounce bottle of flame retardant. Obviously, the percentages of the chemical within the Gatorade is not like drinking straight flame retardant, but the fact that it is in there is quite concerning.
It was concerning enough to a 15-year-old named Sarah Kavanagh that she started an online petition to have the ingredient removed from citrus flavored Gatorade drinks. She started the campaign in November of 2012, and as the calendar gets ready to flip to February 2013, word comes from PepsiCo that it will be removing the ingredient from the drinks. With that, it would seem like even a teenager can affect policies that they believe do harm to their fellow human beings. PepsiCo though does not give credit to the young lady.
In a statement released by Pepsi, they say, "While our products are safe, we are making this change because we know that some consumers have a negative perception of BVO in Gatorade, despite being permitted for use in North American and Latin American countries. As part of this process, we began working on an alternative ingredient to BVO for the few Gatorade flavors that contain BVO more than a year ago.” In other words, thanks for pointing it out friend, but this has been in the works for almost a year.
The same article mentioned that the replacement ingredient will be sucrose acetate isobutyrate. The reason it has taken the year is that the company had to test it to make sure it did not affect the taste. The new ingredient is one the company is familiar with, given that it is used in some of the drinks Pepsi ships internationally. BVO is banned in some other countries, including Japan and members of the European Union.
What is intriguing about this change is that Pepsi is not making the switch across the board. Mountain Dew also includes BVO, but there are no plans to make a switch to that formula. The other soft drink giant, Coca Cola, also uses BVO in several drinks, including Orange Fanta and its Gatorade like competitor, Powerade. They also have nothing in the works in terms of changing their product. According to PepsiCo, consumers can expect to see the changed Gatorade on store shelves within the next couple of months.
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