The food chain, Subway, announced Thursday that it would be removing a chemical called azodicarbonamide from its sandwich bread.
The statement came after an online petition, started by food blogger Vani Hari ,to remove the chemical from the dough, using the hastag #NoWaySubway. However the restaurant points out that the decision was made before the petition was started.
Azodicarbonamide is a chemical compound commonly used as an additive in plastics, and it can be found in common items like yoga mats, shoe soles, and synthetic leather products. It is also widely used as a dough conditioner, used by commercial bakers to strengthen the dough, but has been poorly tested, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The chemical is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as an ingredient.
In its official statement Subway said: “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. The complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon.”
Subway is not the only major food chain to come under scrutiny for using a controversial chemical agent. In August 2013, fast food mega-restaurant McDonald’s announced that they were no longer using “pink slime” or ammonium hydroxide in their burger recipes.
S.C. Rhyne is a blogger and novelist in New York City. Follow the author on twitter @ReporterandGirl or on Facebook.com/TheReporterandTheGirl and visit her website at www.SCRhyne.com