Subway removes controversial chemical from bread
February 7th, 2014
09:59 AM ET
Share this on:

Take a look at ingredients for some varieties of Subway's bread and you'll find a chemical that may seem unfamiliar and hard to pronounce: azodicarbonamide.

To say this word, you would emphasize the syllable "bon" - but the attention the chemical has been getting has not been good. Besides bread, the chemical is also found in yoga mats and shoe soles to add elasticity.
But it's not long for bread at Subway: The company says it's coming out.

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

The controversial chemical has been used by commercial bakers for the purpose of strengthening dough but has been poorly tested, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

One of the breakdown products, derived from the original substance, is called urethane, a recognized carcinogen, the organization says. Using azodicarbonamide at maximum allowable levels results in higher levels of urethane in bread "that pose a small risk to humans," CSPI said.

Another breakdown product is semicarbazide, which poses "a negligible risk to humans" but was found to cause cancers of the lung and blood vessels in mice, CSPI said.

CSPI advocates for reducing the amount of the chemical that is allowed to be used.

"We urge the Food and Drug Administration to consider whether the Delaney amendment, which bars the use of food additives that cause cancer in humans or animals, requires the agency to bar its use," CSPI said.
The FDA has said that the additive cannot exceed 0.0045% by weight of the flour when used in as a "dough conditioner."

Read - Subway to remove 'dough conditioner' chemical from bread

Previously - Gatorade removes controversial ingredient after girl's online petition

Posted by:
Filed under: Food Safety • Food Science • Health News • Subway

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. John Terry

    But it is still healthier than McDonald's and KFC, eh?

    February 10, 2014 at 11:35 am |
  2. John Terry

    What a pity! I love Subway!

    February 10, 2014 at 11:33 am |
  3. celticgoddess1326

    I don't understand the purpose of adding weird chemicals to bread anyway, especially since Subway makes all the bread in their stores. Wouldn't it make more sense to use REAL ingredients like flour and yeast? Good on them for getting rid of it, but shame on them for making this an issue in the first place.

    February 9, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
  4. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    That is repulsive! Thank goodness I have not eaten at Subway for 12 years at this point and I haven't eaten bread in 10! I hope more fast food companies start cleaning up their products more!

    February 7, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
  5. shazzyc13

    Reblogged this on SHAZZYC and commented:
    We don't eat take away much but I do like Subway. I never knew about this. I suppose I was a bit naive when you think about it.
    It certainly is a good thing they are doing the responsible thing.

    February 7, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
  6. ∞ Weeds ∞

    Note to all:
    This chemical is in many bread products sold in your grocery stores. Buyer beware. A known carcinogen that Europe forbids to be used in any food manufacturing process where this material might even touch a food product. Again, thanks to lobbyists for the food industry, we, the public suffer unknowingly.
    Thanks to the few individuals that work to try to put ethics in food consumption and expose the TRUTH. Yeah, ethical food consumption works both ways. Cheers to red dye #2.

    February 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
  7. Partisan

    Given the blatent pandering that the first lady has given to Subway in recent weeks, it should surprise no one that this corporation is subtly trying to poison the American populace. The left never met any individual they did not want to murder in the womb. Typical of the far left party of hate.

    February 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
    • Darth Vader

      Its a shame they didn't look in the sewers and snip you in the bud. The world would be a much better place. I mean, look at you – talk about spouting hate. You are a volcano of hate.

      February 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
    • kenbo11

      The only hate I see here is the nonsense you're spouting! Subway is doing a good thing here. Bringing awareness to this and doing something about it.

      February 10, 2014 at 8:17 am |
| Part of