In 2014, Subway announced it would remove an additive from its bread after a food blogger sparked a consumer uprising.
Azodicarbonamide is a dangerous industrial chemical used to make yoga mats, shoe rubber, and synthetic leather. Although there’s no reason for it to be in bread, it has in fact been used for decades as a dough conditioner.
The primary function of azodicarbonamide is centered on the way it breaks down during processing — it creates tiny bubbles that make things “foamy.” Somewhere in the testing procedures, scientists discovered it whitened flour and acted as an oxidizing agent. Bakers, or rather “food scientists” soon concluded that it should be a standard inclusion in bread.
ADC is not approved for use in the European Union or Australia, but considered safe in small amounts by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Vani Hari, a blogger known as Food Babe, gathered tens of thousands of signatures on a petition to get Subway to remove the stuff. It worked.
Health Dangers Include
Azodicarbonamide Increases Gluten Content in Bread. …
Azodicarbonamide Can Cause Respiratory Problems. …
Azodicarbonamide is a Skin Irritant. …
Azodicarbonamide Disrupts the Immune System. …
Azodicarbonamide Creates Toxic By-Products When Heated. …
Harmful to Hormone Function.
Now These Other Popular Food Chains Need to Do the Same
Among the fast food companies whose ingredients’ lists (bread-based items in this case) contain the chemical are:
•McDonald’s (which continues to toe the FDA line that it’s “safe” and doesn’t seem likely to remove it)
•Pizza Hut (garlic bread)
•Steak N’ Shake
•Starbucks (they just announced they’d be removing it due to the movement against it)
•And many more…
The chemical has been linked to to asthma, respiratory problems, skin sensitivities and other health problems by the World Health Organization. And according to Food Babe’s website, it forms trace amounts of semicarbazide, which is a likely carcinogen, when it undergoes the heat of processing. But that hasn’t stopped the above companies from continuing to use it in many of their products.