Brominated vegetable oil

FrescaJust finished drinking a can of Fresca and was idly checking the ingredients to make sure it didn’t contain sorbitol because I am having stomach cramps and constantly going to the bathroom as a result of chewing three packs of trident sugarless gum which contained sorbitol which makes me get stomach cramps and sends me to the bathroom. The Fresca does not contain any sorbitol, but it does contain brominated vegetable oil. Of course I didn’t know what brominated meant prior to looking it up a minute ago. It means to treat or combine something with bromine.

Bromine , according to the 10th edition of Miriam Webster’s Collegiate dictionary, is a “non-metallic halogen element that is isolated as a deep red corrosive toxic volatile liquid of disagreeable odor”. So it would seem to mean that vegetable oil gets treated with this red, corrosive, toxic, volatile, bad-smelling bromine and thus becomes brominated vegetable oil. And this brominated vegetable oil is used as an emulsifier in soft drinks.

What I find interesting is that consumption of products containing bromine have been shown to cause depression, memory loss, seizures, irritability, confusion, slurred speech, stupor, tremors, loss of peripheral vision among other side effects.

Of course the US Code of Federal Regulations have rules in place to ensure that the bromine used in soft drinks does not exceed 15 parts per million in the finished drink but still, I don’t even like Fresca and could have done without drinking it. I wasn’t even supposed to drink anything but tea today. Had I known about this brominated vegetable oil beforehand I wouldn’t have gone ahead and drunk the Fresca.

The Fresca also contains glycerol ester of wood rosin, which is used to keep the brominated vegetable oil suspended in water.

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