Subway Will No Longer Use Controversial Chemical In Its Bread

When you practice for your online baking courses, you probably use simple ingredients in your breads, such as flour, sugar and eggs. Unfortunately, not all bread makers think the way you do. For years, Subway restaurants have been using the chemical azodiacarbonamide​, a compound that acts as a bleaching agent and gives the loaves their elasticity, in their bread. However, the company has recently announced that it will be removing the chemical from their baking process.

The hard-to-say chemical 
Azodiacarbonamide (ADA) is a chemical approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food – it’s labeled as “generally safe.” However, both Europe and Australia do not permit ADA use. According to CBS San Francisco affiliate KBCW, the World Health Organization has linked ADA to respiratory issues such as allergies and asthma. ADA is used in plastic-based products, such as yoga mats and rubber-soled shoes.

Protesting chemical use
Food blogger Vani Hari investigates the practices of restaurants and producers across the country and fights against the use of harmful practices. She had been asking Subway to remove ADA from its bread for years, but has had no results. Hari then decided to try a different approach and created a petition online, asking her readers to sign it and forward the information. In a short amount of time after the petition’s creation, Subway announced it would be removing the chemical.

“We are already in the process of removing Azodiacarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts despite the fact that it is USDA- and FDA-approved ingredient,” the company said in a statement. “The complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon.”

According to the Associated Press, Hari’s petition received around 57,000 signatures by the time she sent it to Subway’s offices. The company said it had been planning on changing its bread recipe prior to the petition.

The illusion of health
Hari told the AP that she was most upset when she discovered Subway used ADA because she had believed the company to be healthy alternative to other fast food. Subway carries an American Heart Association seal on its logo and propagates the healthy image through its marketing.

“What really upset me was it was something I always ate while on the road that I thought was healthy – their nine-grain bread and veggie sub and all the marketing about low calories and weight loss,” Hari told the source.

There’s no word from Subway as to exactly when ADA will be completely eradicated from the bread.

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