The Most Surprising Ingredients Found In Mountain Dew

Ah, Mountain Dew. Neon green, available in a swathe of specialty flavors and colors, and boasting a cult following, Mountain Dew is in a soda league of its own. It's refreshing, citrusy, and really unlike any other carbonated beverage on the market — but maybe that's because it's packed with a few surprising ingredients. While you'll find your expected ingredients like carbonated water and high-fructose corn syrup in any bottle or can of Mountain Dew, you'll also find a few things that are a bit unexpected, namely orange juice and brominated vegetable oil (BVO).

The orange juice makes more sense than the BVO, to be honest. After all, Mountain Dew has a pretty distinct citrus flavor. You just wouldn't expect that flavor to come from your favorite breakfast beverage. According to MEL Magazine, Mountain Dew is made with a concentrated orange juice that's been stripped of all its water content, for orange juice that packs seven times the punch as a fresh-squeezed glass of orange juice.

So what's the deal with the brominated vegetable oil?

The brominated vegetable oil is significantly more surprising than the orange juice. After all, you drink orange juice, so if it's included in another one of your favorite drinks, it's no big deal. You don't drink vegetable oil, though, so you probably don't expect it to end up in your soda. According to The Food Network, brominated vegetable oil is an emulsifier usually made from corn or soybean oil. It's there to basically help all the other oils, like natural flavorings, in your beverage mix together effortlessly, versus sitting atop your drink's water content like an oily sheen.

Unfortunately, BVO is pretty controversial, to the point that it's prohibited for use in food products in both Europe and Japan. That's because BVO, which also doubles as a flame retardant for plastics, can irritate your skin, nose, mouth, and stomach, a rep from the Mayo Clinic told The Food Network, and it can also cause neurologic issues for those who consume a large quantity of the stuff. The Mayo Clinic estimates that if you consume more than two liters of Mountain Dew per day, you could be introducing too much BVO into your system. So, next time you reach for a Mountain Dew, maybe stick to just one serving.