PepsiCo also uses the oil in its Mountain Dew brands

PepsiCo also uses the oil in its Mountain Dew brands

PepsiCo is to change its formula for Gatorade in the wake of health concerns over one of the product's ingredients.

The soft drinks and snacks maker said on Friday (25 January) that it would no longer use brominated vegetable oil, used in some versions of the sports drink. The change comes after an online petition against the oil attracted 200,000 signatures.
However a PepsiCo spokesperson said the protest did not spark the company's decision. The removal of brominated vegetable oil had been planned over the past year after the company heard consumer concerns about the ingredient, the spokesperson said.

Brominated vegetable oil is used in beverages to distribute flavour evenly though the drink. It is not banned by the FDA.

The Coca-Cola Co, which uses the oil in its Powerade brands, did not immediately respond to enquiries from just-drinks.

PepsiCo said it has no plans to remove the ingredient from its Mountain Dew and Diet Mountain Dew brands. The new formula, which replaces the oil with sucrose acetate isobutyrate, will be on shelves "in the next few months", the spokesperson said, adding that there will be no change to the product's flavour.

According to the New York Times, brominated vegetable oil has possible side-effects including neurological disorders and altered thyroid hormones.

Last month, PepsiCo announced it was changing the formula of its Diet Pepsi brand in the US. The company said the sweetener rejig would not affect flavour.