PepsiCo is removing a controversial ingredient from its Gatorade sports drink following customer complaints. A spokeswoman says the move had been 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 petition on Change.org, which noted that the ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, has been patented as a flame retardant and is banned in Japan and the European Union. (The petition has been updated with a "Victory" note.)
The Pepsi spokeswoman 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 in select flavors including orange and citrus. Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, is still used in other PepsiCo drinks, including Mountain Dew. The ingredient is also listed in some flavors of Powerade, made by rival Coca-Cola.