Playing safe is something the gaming industry takes seriously. Nintendo has been at the leading edge of gaming safety.
27 Mar 2017
As Nintendo's new Switch console launches around the world, users have been asking why the console's cartridges taste so bitter, with coverage in national newspapers and across social media.
The answer is a novel application of Bitrex (Denatonium Benzoate), a substance used to add a bitter taste to things that look tempting to swallow. It is the bitterest substance known to man according to The Guinness World Records, but also completely harmless when consumed. This makes it a great deterrent to prevent children from consuming things that could cause them harm, so it is often used in household, garden and automotive products to ensure that if a child or animal ever tried to swallow it, they would spit it straight out before they could be poisoned.
Nintendo's application is the first use of Bitrex by a gaming console, aimed at helping avoid the possibility of accidental ingestion by children.
Gina Mercier, Bitrex Business Manager, comments on this new application: "This is an excellent example of an innovative way in which Bitrex can be used to keep children safe.
"Our mission at Bitrex is to make a child's world a safer world, so we welcome all new applications and work closely with our partners to accomplish this. Nintendo demonstrates that safety is at the heart of their gaming."
Bitrex is the leading branded aversive agent. The chemical, Denatonium Benzoate, was discovered by Macfarlan Smith, a Johnson Matthey company in 1958. The team at Johnson Matthey work collaboratively with their manufacturing partners across the world to ensure that the effective level of Bitrex is included in the product to make it aversive.
For more information on Bitrex visit the