Gatorade sports drink to remove controversial ingredient
NEW YORK — PepsiCo Inc. is removing a controversial ingredient from its Gatorade sports drink in response to customer complaints.
A spokeswoman for the company, Molly Carter, said Friday that the move was in the works for the past year after the company began "hearing rumblings" from consumers about the ingredient. She said it wasn't a response to a recent petition on Change.org by a Mississippi teenager.
The ingredient is also listed in other drinks, including some flavors of Powerade, made by rival Coca-Cola Co. The Atlanta-based company did not say whether it would remove the ingredient from Powerade as well but noted that it takes customers' concerns into account when looking for ways to improve its drinks.
Ingredients in food and drinks have come under greater scrutiny in recent years, helped by the ability of consumers to mobilize online. The petition on Change.org noted that the ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, has been patented as a flame retardant and is banned in Japan and the European Union. It had more than 200,000 supporters Friday.
For Gatorade, Carter said the ingredient is used as an "emulsifier," meaning it distributes flavoring more evenly so that it doesn't collect at the surface. She said it was used only in select flavors including such as orange and citrus. Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, is still used in other drinks, including Coca-Cola's Fanta and PepsiCo's Mountain Dew.
Carter noted that the ingredient is not banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and that the decision wasn't the result of any health or safety concerns. She said it was to address concerns expressed specifically by Gatorade customers.
PepsiCo is replacing BVO in Gatorade with an ingredient called sucrose acetate isobutyrate, which will maintain the flavor and taste of the drinks.
PepsiCo's decision to remove the ingredient from Gatorade was first reported by the trade journal Beverage Digest.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Musical fundraiser carries across generations
- Leechburg Area’s anti-bullying effort shows youngsters how to be BRAVE
- Stop nets 3 men on gun, drug charges in New Kensington
- A-K Valley campus clippings: Ex-Valley standout McNabb enters IUP Hall of Fame
- Guido: Burrell celebrates golden anniversary
- NK grocery store robbed
- Pittsburgh rises up for a 2nd year of Pirates magic
- September ranks with driest ever in Western Pa.
- Steelers’ Tomlin does not like his coaching style to be characterized
- State trooper shot and killed during training exercise
- Retirement planning is about more than just money