Brominated vegetable oil has drawn online petitions demanding its removal from popular sports drinks. But exactly what is brominated vegetable oil?
According to WebMD, brominated vegetable oil is a synthetic chemical formed by bonding vegetable oil to bromine. Health advocates have expressed concerns that heavy consumption of drinks containing brominated vegetable oil can have negative health affects after prolonged exposure. The FDA approved the general use of brominated vegetable oil in 1958, but restricted use of the chemical to limited amounts in the 1970s. Under current regulations, brominated vegetable oil is not supposed to exceed 15 parts per million.
The use of brominated vegetable oil in food products has been prohibited in the European Union, Japan and India.
Coca-Cola is reportedly dropping the ingredient from its Powerade sports drinks after a consumer launched an online petition against the chemical.