Milford, CN, United States (4E) – Sandwich restaurant chain Subway announced Wednesday it is removing a chemical ingredient in its breads as 57,000 concerned citizens signed a petition calling for the removal of the dough additive.
The company issued a statement saying it was “already in the process of removing azodicarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts despite the fact that it is USDA and FDA approved ingredient,” according to reports. The statement, however, said the removal of the chemical is not related to the protest or petition food activist and blogger Vani Hari.
Azodicarbonamide is used to increase elasticity of plastic and other products, including yoga mats and rubber shoes. The chemical is banned in Europe, Singapore and Australia but not in Canada and the U.S. The U.S. FDA allows the use of the chemical for aging and bleaching of cereal flour and conditioning of dough only at the safe level of 45 parts per million. Studies by the World Health Organization said exposure to the chemical can cause asthma, other respiratory symptoms, and skin sensitization.
Hari, 34, claimed credit for Subway’s decision. She sent a petition signed by more than 50,000 people to Subway’s corporate offices via her Food Babe blog. The petition was asking the removed of azodicarbonamide from its bread.
Hari, who is from Charlotte, North Carolina, said she was horrified to find the said chemical in the list of ingredients of a Subway sandwich, which she thought was healthy as Subway advertised its products to be. She claimed that Subway does not use the chemical in its honey oat bread sold overseas.