Subway to Remove 'Yoga Mat' Chemical from Bread Following Food Blogger's Petition

'Dough conditioner' may induce asthma at high levels

Food blogger Vani Hari has made a name for herself finding the overlap between activism and fine cuisine, proving the even crunchy granola-types deserve to eat the good stuff. But a recent petition she created asking Subway to stop using azodicarbonamide in its bread has received over 67,000 signatures, and prompted the franchise to remove the ingredient, CNN.com reports.


"Azodicarbonamide is the same chemical used to make yoga mats, shoe soles, and other rubbery objects," Hari writes. "It's not supposed to be food or even eaten for that matter. And it's definitely not 'fresh.'"

Dough strengthener
The difficult-to-pronounce chemical is described by the Food and Drug Administration as a "dough conditioner," intended to strengthen dough and improve elasticity (always an important quality in bread). While a 1999 World Health Organization evaluation of the effects of azodicarbonamide found a negligible impact in animal test subjects, a study in which rats and dogs were subjected to biurea, a product of the chemical, resulted in the deaths of several animals. Another product, urethane, is a recognized carcinogen and appears at higher levels in bread.

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"The level of risk is uncertain," WHO told CNN.com. "Hence, exposure levels should be reduced as much as possible." Nevertheless, the use of the chemical in the workplace carries a greater level of exposure. According to the same evaluation, some employees of facilities using or manufacturing azodicarbonamide experienced asthmatic reactions. The concentration needed to induce asthma is unknown.

"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. According to the Associated Press, a Subway representative said a change in policy was underway before Hari's petition was launched, but did not specify when it was started or when it would be complete.

"Subway couldn't force most of us [into their shops] at gunpoint," reads one comment on Hari's blog. But not all readers are convinced of the chemical's toxicity. "There is a misconception that just because a chemical has an industrial use, it is toxic and should not be in food," another reader wrote. "It is not the chemical that is toxic. It is the dose in which you take it."

CNN.com reports that besides Subway, McDonald's, Starbucks, and Arby's also use the chemical, and it can appear in grocery store and restaurant breads. Nevertheless, Hari writes, the ingredient is banned in Europe and Australia, and its use in Singapore can result in a $450,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.

"I commend Subway for finally responding to me and now over 58,000 concerned citizens," she told USA Today after the announcement that the restaurant would end their use of the chemical. "I'd like to note that current Subway sandwiches still have this ingredient, and I urge everyone not to eat their sandwich bread until they have finally removed the ingredient."

Subway isn't the only fast-food franchise to attract controversy lately. McDonald's drew ire after an employee was allegedly fired for offering food to a homeless person, and a Chicago sub shop was slammed for firing 20 of its employees just days before Christmas.

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braigno2

must see , mindfuzz buster.
http://fedupmovie.com/

April 12 2014 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
braigno2

'How is Jared Fogle like a yoga mat?"

April 12 2014 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ilenedan2

Most bread you get these days contains this chemical, including the bread in the supermarket, but I seem to recall it is listed by another name usually. Anyway, maybe that is why supermarket bread and other fast food breads taste nothing like the bread I make or from good bakeries.

April 11 2014 at 3:11 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
apoll069

Thank you for trying to incite panic, lawsuits and the destruction of American business. This is a common substance, found in many foods; we're not being exposed to it at concentrated, pure form, so we're not going to get asthma from it. Do a bit better research before you demonize something/someone. Well, at least the world knows your name, now. It's a good thing none of the sheep, claiming they'll never eat at subway again, have the dedication to actually do so. This (hysteria) too, shall pass. I think I'll go grab a hot Subway Melt, for lunch.

April 11 2014 at 2:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
G-Man

I used to eat Subway on a regular. No more! For the fact that they were so deceptive is what bothers me.

March 18 2014 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dvanilla1

This is the very reason doctors may want to do all these test ahead of time. They already know what is contributing to different diseases. And they are trying to catch them before they get out of control. Trying to make a buck to continue to fund the pharmacuticals with our money. America you should be ashamed of yourself. Sad thing is you constantly lie and tell people most of this is hereditary.

Dough strengthener
The difficult-to-pronounce chemical is described by the Food and Drug Administration as a "dough conditioner," intended to strengthen dough and improve elasticity (always an important quality in bread). While a 1999 World Health Organization evaluation of the effects of azodicarbonamide found a negligible impact in animal test subjects, a study in which rats and dogs were subjected to biurea, a product of the chemical, resulted in the deaths of several animals. Another product, urethane, is a recognized carcinogen and appears at higher levels in bread.

February 14 2014 at 10:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dvanilla1

Before this came out I was telling someone, that something wasn't right about Subway bread. It doesn't taste or smells like bread, even when walking into the store and its baking. Why someone would put this in food for human consumption. This is another indication of some of the illnesses and diseases we are encountering in our lives. All these hidden elements, most of us are wondering what is going on all these illnesses as never before. Well, thanks a lot America you have just showed me our country is worse than others. Dirty waters people dying of various diseases. Stop the monopoly, you’re hurting us.

February 14 2014 at 10:35 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dvanilla1's comment
ecougar55

So move to Europe, Australia, or better yet, Singapore. It would help us all out. Take Hari with you.

April 12 2014 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ohdeere

i checked out that chemical on the world health organization's site, and wonder if the people who were getting reactions werent just sticking subway sandwiches in their eyes. Me thinks there are larger issues than that ingredient at play

February 12 2014 at 2:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

I'm a celeb chef. Here is the insider scoop on this. To make good soft chewey sub rolls, you have to kneed and slow rise the dough over a 24 hour period. Too long for fast food. But, an interesting thing happens. You can put the good dough in the oven and stop baking it half way through the bake time and then freeze the loaves. Then later, put the loaves back into the oven and finish baking them. The result is exactly the same fresh chewey delicious sub rolls.
A company in New Jersey, Wenner Breads, does just this and ships them to you frozen. You get the amazing
good sub rolls without the chemicals.

February 12 2014 at 10:27 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alfredschrader's comment
dvanilla1

alfredschrader, thanks for the information. I guess Subway is proving how lazy they are. Instead of baking bread like usual they took a short cut to make money and be number 1. Not realizing how they can hurt others. Makes me wonder what else is being done behind closed doors in other food places.

February 14 2014 at 10:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dvanilla1's comment
G-Man

This is why I will no longer eat a Subway. it's the whole fact that they were deceptive in doing this in the first place that bothers me.

March 18 2014 at 11:27 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
wyklej

IT FIGURES THAT MRS. MOOCH WOULD PICK A PLACE LIKE THIS TO ADVERTISE HOW GOOD IT IS AND NOW TO FIND OUT THIS...WELL IF YOU SEE HER GET BEHIND ANYTHING, YOU DAMN WELL BETTER KNOW IT ISN'T ANY GOOD...AS ALWAYS.. WORD OF ADVISE..MOOCH, STAY OUT OF OUR BUSINESS AND WE WILL BE FIND....

February 12 2014 at 9:55 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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