brominated vegetable oil
Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is vegetable oil that has had atoms of the element bromine bonded to it. Brominated vegetable oil is used to stabilize citrus-flavored soft drinks. Its high density helps the droplets of natural fat-soluble citrus flavors stay suspended in the drink. BVO has been used by the soft drink industry since 1931, generally at a level of about 8 ppm.
Careful control of the type of oil used allows bromination of it to produce BVO with a specific density (1.33 g/mL). As a result, it can be mixed with less-dense flavoring agents such as citrus flavor oil to produce a resulting oil whose density matches that of water or other products. The droplets containing BVO remain suspended in the water rather than separating and floating at the surface.
Citrus-flavored sodas and sports drinks sold in the US typically contain a synthetic chemical called brominated vegetable oil (BVO), which was originally patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant. BVO has been shown to bioaccumulate in human tissue and breast milk, and animal studies have found it causes reproductive and behavioral problems in large doses.
From Me: Enough said! ACK!