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Teen Gets Gatorade To Change Recipe

In response to a Mississippi teenager's demands, the beverage company has announced it will no longer use a controversial chemical in its sports drinks.

Empty gatorade cup dropped on the track, lying on its side.

Photo: Fillmore Photography (Flickr)

Brominated vegetable oil, the emulsifier used in all citrus flavors of Gatorade, is banned in Japan and the European Union.

No, No, BVO!

Thanks to the efforts of 15-year-old Sarah Kavanagh, Gatorade has agreed to remove brominated vegetable oil (BVO) from its popular sports drinks.

Some studies have linked the additive, which keeps flavorings from separating in the citrus versions of Gatorade, to neurological disorders and thyroid problems.

Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate

According to Gatorade spokeswoman Molly Carter, PepsiCo has been testing alternatives to BVO for about a year because of customer feedback. While the company had not planned to announce the ingredient shift, its plans changed following the success of Kavanagh’s campaign, which garnered over 200,000 electronic signatures.

Replacing BVO will be the emulsifier sucrose acetate isobutyrate, which is recognized as safe by the FDA.

Consumers will begin to see the new ingredient rolling out over the coming months as retailers sell off their current inventories.

Not Just Gatorade

Gatorade isn’t the only popular beverage that contains BVO.

According to the New York Times, the emulsifier is also found in Pepsi’s Mountain Dew and Diet Mountain Dew, some flavors of Coca-Cola’s Powerade and Fresca, and Dr. Pepper’s Squirt and Sunkist.

Pepsi has said it has no plans to remove the ingredient from its Mountain Dew recipe.

Read More:

  • PepsiCo Will Halt Use Of Additive In Gatorade (New York Times)
  • Meet The Teen Who Stood Up To Gatorade (Metro)
Sarah Gordon

Sarah Gordon has been interested in food ethics since she was 15, learned about industrial slaughter, and launched into 10 years of vegetarianism. These days, she strives to be a conscientious omnivore. Now a PhD candidate in folklore, her research has caused her to spend a lot of time in the remote Canadian sub-arctic, where the lake trout (sustainably harvested) tastes amazing.

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