Recently, the sandwich giant Subway announced that it would no longer be using a specific chemical compound in its breads. Multiple organizations and individuals protested and boycotted the sub chain in an attempt to force the business to remove azodicarbonamide from its products.
Also known as ADA, the now notorious ingredient is an artificial chemical commonly found in yoga mats, flip flops, tennis shoes, window sealants, and other commercial items. It is an industrial foaming agent that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use in comestibles in very small quantities, but its inclusion in almost all foods is largely unnecessary. When added to items like rolls, bagels, muffins, and dinner breads, it offers a spongy texture that is considered appetizing.
Unfortunately, many brands and manufacturers that Americans trust to sell wholesome products have elected to include this potentially harmful substance. Even brands that market their products as “healthy” and “natural” have added azodicarbonamide to make their breads and rolls more appealing. While the approved concentration of 45 parts per million has not yet resulted in any known emergencies, the chemical itself has been linked with a number of hazardous side effects. When consumed to excess, it may result in potentially life-threatening conditions and allergic reactions.
People who work with ADA on a regular basis have experienced problems like respiratory issues and skin irritation. Though no one authority has, as of yet, urged Americans to remove this ingredient from their diet or change their eating habits because of it, it is worth mentioning that a substantial number of other countries do not allow its inclusion in their foods. If you suspect a possible reaction to azodicarbonamide in yourself or in any member of your family, talk to your primary health care provider. You may find that making your own baked goods at home is not only safer, but more delicious and rewarding as well.