Coca-Cola, Pepsi removing BVO from their products

Coca-Cola and Pepsi, the world's leading softdrink makers, are removing a controversial ingredient called BVO from some of their products.

Powerade

BVO (brominated vegetable oil) is used as a stabiliser which helps prevent ingredients from separating. Use of the additive is banned in Japan and the European Union, according to a BBC news report.

It is present in Coca-Cola drinks such as Fanta and Powerade. Pepsi abandoned the chemical for Gatorade last year and claimed that they are actively working to remove it from the rest of its products.

BVO has bromide, an element found in brominated flame retardants. Medical researchers at the Mayo Clinic reportedly said excessive consumption of drinks containing the ingredient may lead to health woes. Among the reported effects are memory loss as well as skin and nerve problems.

Coca-Cola replaced BVO in fruit punch and strawberry lemonade-flavored Powerade with sucrose acetate isobutyrate, also known as glycerol ester of rosin, commonly found in chewing gum and beverages.

Awareness against the use of BVO grew after Sarah Kavanagh, a teenager from Mississippi, launched an online petition to have the ingredient removed from fruit and sports drinks.