BVO was the most important additive for soda drinks in earlier times, but was later removed from the list of ingredients. The food industry is gradually shifting towards healthier options.
So, go through this article to know the side effects of BVO and the reason behind the ban of this ingredient in several countries.
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What is BVO & What is BVO Used for?
BVO stands for brominated vegetable oil, which is created by simply mixing bromine with vegetable oil.
Basically, BVO is a food additive, and due to the combination of bromine and vegetable oil, the mixture feels very thick and oily.
This liquid acts as a good emulsifying agent that keeps oil and water combined together in soft drinks to maintain the flavor.
Moreover, BVO maintains the sweetness and flavor in the soda drinks throughout the quantity of the drink and prevents the flavor accumulation only on the upper portion.
Without the use of such emulsifiers, the flavor does not balance in the soft drinks. Also, there occurs continuous bubble formation, ruining your drinking experience.
Thus, BVO is used to combine the sweetness of water and the flavor of the flavoring oil for a better taste of soft drinks.
BVO Side Effects
BVO contains bromine, a harmful chemical that can cause long-term side effects to your body if you consume it daily.
When you consume BVO-added drinks excessively, the bromine can gather in your body and can cause bromine toxicity. The symptoms include headache, fatigue, and memory loss.
Additionally, excessive bromine toxicity can also cause psychiatric and neurological disorders.
When the thyroid function is damaged, it results in an imbalance of the hormonal functions inside the body.
Besides this, you can also feel skin problems like rashes, acne, etc, and reproductive problems like irregular menstruation, difficulties in conceiving, etc.
So, it’s better to avoid BVO-added drinks to prevent your body from such problems.
Where is BVO Banned?
Earlier, BVO was the primary ingredient in many drinks like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Fanta, etc.
In 1958, the FDA classified this additive as “Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)” but again withdrew the classification in 1970 due to the health risks.
However, the chemical was still not banned in the United States. Later, due to the potential health risks, the FDA banned the use of this additive in 2012.
The US government has banned the use of BVO in any products throughout the US. California was the first state to ban the use of this product in 2022.
Besides the US, the use of BVO was banned in Japan, Europe, Canada, India, etc. Japan was the first among them to ban the product in 2010.
However, some countries like China and Mexico have not banned this additive yet.
When BVO was considered risky, Coca-Cola company voluntarily withdrew this additive from the list of their soda drink’s ingredients. Later in 2020, Mountain Dew also stopped using BVO.
However, some stores still sell the old Mountain Dew and drinks like Sundrop that contain BVO. FDA is asking to remove this ingredient from Sundrop to Dr. Peppers.
From Editorial Team
Brominated Vegetable Oil Substitutes!
One of the best substitutes for BVO is the natural emulsifier Ester Gum, made from pine resin. Another natural thickener and emulsifier is Gellan Gum, made from bacteria.
Other synthetic emulsifiers include Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Polysorbate 80, etc.
These products can improve the texture and flavor of the drink and prevent the separation of oil and water, just like Brominated Vegetable Oil.