Brominated Vegetable Oil in Carbonated Beverage Drinks: A concern. 

Apr 6, 2024 | Food Matters | 0 comments

The discussion on food matters this week focused on brominated vegetable oil in carbonated beverages (BVO) and whether it should be banned in soft drinks. A question was asked, “What is Brominated Vegetable Oil?” It was a surprise to learn that it’s used in soft drinks as an emulsifier to evenly distribute flavors.

However, BVO contains bromine, which can cause health issues like headaches and thyroid problems with long-term consumption. Many countries have banned BVO in drink production due to these health concerns. Healthier alternatives like Gum Arabic and Ester Gum are recommended. While BVO was considered safe until the 70s, studies revealed its harmful effects, leading to bans in the US and EU. Some argued that food manufacturers will continue to use it unless regulated, despite its health risks. The FDA initially deemed BVO as safe but later reversed its decision. It’s advised to limit consumption of drinks containing BVO to avoid toxicity, with no scientific consensus on tolerance levels. BVO is derived from vegetable oil and used as an emulsifier in citrus-flavored drinks.


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