ATLANTA — The Coca-Cola Co. joins the list of companies removing controversial ingredients from popular products. The beverage maker over the coming months is transitioning from brominated vegetable oil (B.V.O.) to sucrose acetate isobutyrate and glycerol ester of rosin in a variety of formulas for ready-to-drink and fountain products.
Glyercol ester of rosin is commonly used in chewing gum and beverages, and sucrose acetate isobutyrate has been used in beverage products for more than 14 years, Coca-Cola said.
B.V.O. already has been removed from fruit punch and strawberry lemonade bottle varieties of Powerade sports drinks, and the company said it expects to complete the transition for all other beverages in the United States by the end of the year.
The move follows a petition on Change.org, as well as an announcement last year from rival PepsiCo, Inc. to remove B.V.O., which is used as an emulsifier, from its Gatorade sports drinks. Though the ingredient is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration, it is a compound found in flame retardants.
Kraft, Subway and General Mills are among a spate of companies buckling to consumer pressure over the use of artificial ingredients. Recently, Kraft announced it had removed artificial preservatives from its Kraft Singles individually wrapped cheese slices and artificial yellow food dyes from its character-based shaped varieties of macaroni and cheese. Earlier this year, Subway revealed plans to remove azodicarbonamide, a dough conditioner, from its bread. The sandwich chain said it had begun the process to eliminate the additive, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, before petitions urged the change.Several companies, including General Mills, Post Foods, Unilever and Chipotle Mexican Grill, have announced the removal of bioengineered ingredients from products as consumers increasingly demand cleaner labels from packaged foods.