PepsiCo Inc. was putting an obscure vegetable oil in its Gatorade. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/03/14/us/ap-us-food-ingredients.html?ref=us A 16-year-old from Hattiesburg, Miss. wanted to know how an oil that contains a chemical also found in flame retardants got into her favorite sports drink. “I just wanted to make sure it was something that I could drink,” Previously unnoticed ingredients are coming under scrutiny as health-conscious consumers demand more information about what they eat and drink. Developed in 1965 at the University of Florida to help football players keep hydrated in the heat, but by 1969, a private company acquired rights to market the drink and started adding brominated vegetable oil as a GRAS to distribute flavor evenly in a new orange version. It is used to emulsify citrus oil in fruit-flavored beverages including Mountain Dew, Fanta and Powerade. The ingredient, which is banned as an additive in Japan and the European Union, will remain in orange Gatorade through this spring. Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) designation took root more than a half-century ago as a way to help the processed food industry avoid lengthy reviews for ingredients. But no one knows exactly how many “GRAS” ingredients are in products because manufacturers are not required to notify the FDA before adding them. in 1997 FDA changed its procedures to allow food companies to voluntarily notify the agency of ingredients they consider safe.