Tag Archives: Soft Drinks

FDA To Ban BVO – A Stabiliser Used In Soft Drinks!

The US FDA just proposed a ban of BVO – brominated vegetable oil – a potentially toxic stabiliser used in soft drinks!

 

FDA To Ban BVO – A Stabiliser Used In Soft Drinks!

On Thursday, 2 November 2023, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally moved to revoke its authorisation for BVO – brominated vegetable oil – a stabiliser mostly used in soft drinks.

BVO is a vegetable oil that has been modified by bromine, a pungent and oily chemical, to create an emulsifier that keeps the citrus flavouring in fruit beverages from separating and floating to the top.

BVO has long been banned in Europe and Japan over health safety concerns, but was permitted to be used in the United States, at up to 15 parts per million.

While many beverage makers have already reformulated their drinks to replace BVO with other stabilisers, about 90 food products in the United States – mostly sodas, still use brominated vegetable oil. This was partly due to FDA’s past restrictions, and the ban on BVO in Europe and Japan:

In 1970, the FDA determined BVO was no longer ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ … and began overseeing its use under our food additive regulations.

Over the years many beverage makers reformulated their products to replace BVO with an alternative ingredient, and today, few beverages in the U.S. contain BVO.

– James Jones, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods

The proposed ban is not yet a certainty. The FDA is opening up the proposed ban for public comments until January 17, 2024. That will be followed by a review process, before a final decision is made.

However, the publicity of this potential ban by the FDA will steer consumers away from soft drinks still containing BVO, and encourage brands to reformulate their products to replace brominated vegetable oil with an alternative stabiliser.

Recommended : Viral Video Proves Japanese Food Is Radioactive?!

 

Why The FDA Is Finally Planning To Ban BVO

The FDA decision came after California banned the BVO in October, with the passing of the California Food Safety Act. But officially – the FDA came to its conclusion based on studies that showed bioaccumulation of bromine, and its toxic effects on the thyroid:

The FDA conducted studies that clearly show adverse health effects in animals in levels more closely approximating real-world exposure. Therefore, the FDA can no longer conclude that this use of BVO in food is safe.

The studies were conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ (NIEHS) Division of Translational Toxicology (formerly the Division of the National Toxicology Program), to assess unresolved toxicological questions. Results from these studies demonstrate bioaccumulation of bromine and toxic effects on the thyroid – a gland that produces hormones that play a key role in regulating blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, metabolism and the reaction of the body to other hormones.

Recommended : Yasuhiro Sonoda Died After Drinking Fukushima Water?!

Those studies were conducted between 2016 and 2022. Initially, they started to more accurately measure the amount of BVO in commercial soft drinks. Then they studied the health effects of BVO in test rats, and the study results showed toxic effects on the thyroid:

Between 2016 and 2020, the FDA published improved methods to more accurately measure the amount of BVO in commercial soft drinks on the market and to measure small amounts of fats in vegetable oil. These research efforts enabled the development and validation of the method used in our later animal studies to detect the level of brominated fats in tissues of animals fed BVO.

On May 16, 2022, the FDA published a study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology that evaluated potential health effects related to BVO consumption in rodents. The FDA measured the amounts of BVO present in the animal food and brominated fats in tissues from test animals. We also fed test animals amounts of BVO that simulate real-life exposure.

The data from the study suggest that oral exposure to BVO is associated with increased tissue levels of bromine and that at high levels of exposure the thyroid is a target organ of potential negative health effects in rodents. The agency also conducted a study to identify the level of BVO in the body after consumption of BVO.

The FDA concluded that after assessing existing animal and human data, together with the more recent FDA studies, it can no longer conclude that BVO is safe to use in food.

Needless to say – even if the FDA has not yet finalised the ban, we should all avoid any food products that contain BVO, even if they meet current regulations.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Fact Check : Foods You Should Never Eat With Durian?!

Are there foods that you should never eat with durian, because they will make you sick… or even worse, kill you?!

Take a look at these viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : These Are Foods You Should Never Eat With Durian!

Durian has long been popular in South East Asia, and yet, there are so many myths and misinformation about this King of Fruits.

Many of these myths and misinformation have been circulating on social media, and spread on websites.

Even TikTok influencers, like a certain Malaysian Dato, are trying to ride on the durian gravy train to Internet stardom.

Here is a list of foods these “Internet gurus / experts” claim you should never eat with durian, because they will make you sick… or worse, kill you!

  • Coca-Cola
  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • White wine / alcohol
  • Crabs / seafood
  • Beef / mutton
  • Brinjal / Eggplant / Aubergine
  • Mangosteen / Lychee

I will add more, as and when I find new foods that people believe are dangerous to eat with durian.

 

Truth : You Can Eat These Foods With Durian!

The truth is – these claims are made up by self-professed Internet gurus / experts who have absolutely NO IDEA what the heck they are talking about, and here are the reasons why…

Note : Some of these claims are based on Chinese traditional medicine “beliefs”. I can only tell you what has been scientifically proven or known.

Fact #1 : You Can Drink Coca-Cola While Eating Durian

There is no scientific basis for the claim that Coca-Cola or other soft drinks are dangerous to drink while eating durian.

Coca-Cola and other soft drinks are nothing more than flavoured carbonated water with a lot of sugar in them. They do not interact with durian to produce anything toxic.

However, it is not advisable to imbibe in durian and soft drinks often, as they are both very high in calories.

Fact #2 : You Can Drink Coffee While Eating Durian

There is no scientific basis for the claim that drinking coffee while eating durian can increase your blood pressure and cause a heart attack!

In fact, there are many companies selling durian coffee – basically coffee with durian extracts. Such drinks would have caused many deaths if this claim was true.

It is possible that this false claim originated from a 2018 case in Penang, Malaysia; where two Nepali men were hospitalised after drinking durian coffee that had been tampered with an unknown drug.

The coffee mixture also contains a foreign green substance which is not available in the original packaging. There is a marked difference in weightage, contents and packaging.

The instant durian coffee mixture is laced with a kind of drug, which has yet to be identified, based on the symptoms shown by the two men.

Besides, heart attacks are caused by blockage of your heart’s arteries, by blood clots and arteriosclerosis that develop over years. The mixing of durian and coffee cannot produce instant arteriosclerosis or blood clots.

Read more : Can Coffee Compounds Cure / Prevent COVID-19?

Fact #3 : You Can Drink Milk While Eating Durian

The claim that drinking milk after eating durian is lethal, because it will increase your blood pressure and cause a heart attack, is nonsense.

It is also not logical. Heart attacks are caused by blockage of your heart’s arteries, by blood clots and arteriosclerosis that develop over years. The mixing of milk and durian cannot produce instant arteriosclerosis or blood clots.

Fact #4 : You Can Drink Some Alcohol While Eating Durian

It is claimed that drinking alcohol while eating durian can cause severe indigestion, heartburn and even death. Allegedly, the high sulphur content in durian helps to break down the alcohol in your body… killing you?

As you can tell, even the premise behind this claim is ridiculous – how does the higher metabolism of alcohol injure or kill you? If the high sulphur content in durian increases metabolism of alcohol, it would allow you to better sustain higher levels of drinking!

It is really the other way around – durian have disulphide (disulfide) compounds that may have a disulfiram effect.

Popularly known as Antabuse, disulfiram is a drug that prevents our body from properly metabolising alcohol, causing unpleasant side effects like headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, chest pain, hyperventilation, vertigo, etc. – what you would experience with an alcohol hangover.

A single 2009 laboratory study showed that the raw durian fruit has disulphide compounds that inhibit up to 70% of the acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzyme, potentially producing the disulfiram effect. However, this  has not yet been confirmed in actual human or animal studies.

There is, therefore, no actual scientific basis for the claim that drinking alcohol while eating durian is dangerous. Even if the disulphide compounds in durian do produce a disulfiram effect, it will only cause hangover-like effects that are unpleasant but won’t kill you.

However, out of an abundance of caution, it would be a good idea to limit your alcohol intake while eating durian, while monitoring for the disulfiram effect. If you do experience it while eating durian, you should stop consuming alcohol.

Read more : Timah Whiskey Brand Sold + Moving To China?

Original credit : Year of the Durian

Fact #5 : You Can Eat Crabs / Seafood While Eating Durian

This myth is based on TCM belief that crabs / seafood are “cooling” while durian is “warming” or “heaty”.

Apparently, they believe that it is not good for “cooling” and “warming” foods to mix in your stomach, because it “confuses” the digestive system and causes the stomach to be “upset”.

This belief is not backed by any scientific evidence. It isn’t even consistent – TCM practitioners also advise against mixing alcohol and durian because they are both “warming” foods.

There is no reason or evidence that eating crabs or any kind of seafood with durian, or after eating durian, is bad or dangerous in any way.

Fact #6 : You Can Eat Beef / Mutton While Eating Durian

This myth is based on TCM belief that beef and mutton are “warming” or “heaty” foods. Apparently, they believe that eating two “warming” foods together increases the “heatiness” of your body, and cause inflammation.

There is simply no scientific evidence that any of that mumbo-jumbo is true, never mind any actual evidence eating beef or mutton with durian causes any harm.

These false claims are not even consistent. In Fact #5, I shared how TCM believes the opposite is also true – that mixing “cooling” and “warming” foods is bad.

Read more : Can You Eat Durian Before / After COVID-19 Vaccination?

Angus beef burger with D24 durian by Lombardo’s

Fact #7 : You Can Eat Brinjal / Eggplant With Durian

This myth is based on TCM belief that brinjal / eggplant and durian are both “warming” foods, and that eating them together will make you sick by increasing the “heatiness” and inflammation of your body.

Again, this is utter nonsense that has no scientific evidence or basis whatsoever.

Fact #8 : You Can Eat Mangosteen / Lychee With Durian

Now, this is a real test in logic. TCM practitioners say that mangosteen and lychee should not be consumed with durian because… get this – they are “cooling” and “warming” foods respectively!

Mangosteen + durian is apparently bad because mixing “cooling” and “warming” foods confuses the digestive system, leading to an upset stomach.

Lychee + durian is apparently bad because mixing two “warming” foods increases your body’s “heatiness” and causes inflammation.

Twisted yourself into a pretzel trying to figure this nonsense out? Don’t bother.

There is simply no scientific evidence or basis whatsoever that it is dangerous or bad to eat mangosteen or lychee with durian.

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Warning : Please avoid creating TikTok videos after eating durian, because it apparently makes you Tok Kok (talk cock)!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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