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.
This chemical has brought the sandwich company a bit of negative attention.
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.