The Subway chemical used in its breads is called azodicarbonamide, and it is the same chemical that is used for yoga mats and shoe soles in order to add elasticity. On Feb. 6, 2014, Subway announced that it is parting with azodicarbonamide, reported CNN.
According to the World Health Organization, azodicarbonamide has been linked to lung problems, asthma, skin irritation, and eye irritation. When heated, the chemical is reduced to compounds that are carcinogenic.
Many Subway fans enjoy Subway’s fantastic bread that appears to have just the right texture, size, and freshness.
One of those fans, food blogger Vani Hari, wondered whether she was actually eating fresh bread at Subway. After Vani Hari discovered that the secret to the bread was not in its freshness but in its chemical, she conducted some research and in 2012 started a petition “to pressure Subway to stop using what she says is a dangerous chemical.”
Last month, when First Lady Michelle Obama publicly endorsed Subway, Vani Hari contacted the company again to inquire about the status of azodicarbonamide. "I thought, for goodness sake, they must be taking out this ingredient. The person I spoke to had no idea about this ingredient," said Vani Hari.
The United States and Canada permit the use of azodicarbonamide as a dough conditioner. In Australia and Europe, the use of azodicarbonamide as a food additive is banned.
On Thursday, Subway announced it is parting ways with the chemical but could not provide any specific date when the process would be completed.
"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."