Shutterstock 723583366 6543c1925146c

FDA: Brominated Vegetable Oil No Longer Considered Safe for Use in Foods

Nov. 2, 2023
Agency proposes to revoke authorization for use of brominated vegetable oil, following its own analysis of research and the ban of products using the embattled ingredient in California.

After numerous calls for government agencies to revisit research on brominated vegetable oil (BVO), as well as the ban of the sale of products containing the embattled ingredient in the state of California last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed to revoke regulations authorizing its use in food products.

The proposal demonstrates FDA’s conclusion that the intended use of BVO in food is no longer considered safe based on studies conducted in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that found the potential for adverse health effects in humans.

BVO is vegetable oil that is modified with bromine and used in small amounts to keep citrus flavoring from separating and floating to the top of some beverages. However, BVO was determined by FDA in 1970 to no longer be “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use in food — and many beverage makers reformulated recipes to replace BVO over time.

FDA said it has continued to analyze food ingredients for health impacts and discussed several embattled additives directly in its release on BVO, saying: “We recognize that California recently took steps to ban the use of four food ingredients, including BVO, in that state. The agency is continuously reviewing and reassessing the safety of a variety of chemicals in food to ensure the science and the law support their safe use in food, including all four ingredients that are part of the recent California law. In fact, the FDA is currently reviewing the color additive regulations authorizing the use of FD&C Red No. 3 in ingested drugs and foods … . A decision from the FDA is forthcoming.”

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

Sponsored Recommendations

Learn About: Micro Motion™ 4700 Config I/O Coriolis Transmitter

An Advanced Transmitter that Expands Connectivity

Micro Motion™ G-Series Coriolis Flow and Density Meter

Micro Motion G-Series: market-leading compact design featuring advanced process diagnostic capability.

Embracing Sustainability using Advanced Measurement Instrumentation

A practical guide to greeningyour brewing operationsusing advanced measurementinstrumentation.

Get Hands-On Training in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment

Enhance the training experience and increase retention by training hands-on in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment. Build skills here so you have them where and when it matters...