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The controversial “yoga mat” chemical used to make Subway sandwich bread has been discovered in nearly 500 items and more than 130 brands of bread, stuffing, pre-made sandwiches and snacks, according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
 
In 1956, a New Jersey pharmaceutical and engineering firm discovered ADA could be used as a “dough conditioner” to make bread that would rise higher, stay soft and resilient and form an appealing crust.
In 1956, a New Jersey pharmaceutical and engineering firm discovered azodicarbonamide (ADA) could be used as a “dough conditioner” to make bread that would rise higher, stay soft and resilient and form an appealing crust. Photo credit: Environmental Working Group
 
EWG researchers found azodicarbonamide (ADA), an industrial chemical foaming agent, in many well-known brands, including: Pillsbury, Sara Lee, Shoprite, Safeway, Smucker’s, Fleischman’s, Jimmy Dean, Kroger, Little Debbie, Tyson, Nature’s Own and Wonder, according to ingredient data obtained for a new food database project due out later this year.
 
ADA is a synthetic substance used by plastics makers to generate tiny bubbles that make materials light, spongy and strong. These materials show up in flip-flops, yoga mats and many types of foam packing and insulation.
 
“It’s unacceptable that major food companies are using an unnecessary and potentially harmful chemical in their products, when it’s clear they can make food without it,” said Vani Hari, creator of FoodBabe.com, in a prepared statement. “These questionable additives are not supposed to be food or even eaten for that matter, but they do end up in the U.S. food supply and are consumed by millions of people, including children, every day.”
 
The information detailed in the EWG analysis was gleaned from research by FoodEssentials, a company that compiles the ingredients and claims made on foods sold in American supermarkets.
 
It was gathered before mid-February and represents a snapshot of ADA foods on the market. 
 
In 1956, a New Jersey pharmaceutical and engineering firm discovered ADA could be used as a “dough conditioner” to make bread that would rise higher, stay soft and resilient and form an appealing crust. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its use as a food additive in 1962.
 
The World Health Organization has connected ADA to increased risk of respiratory problems and skin irritation in workers handling large quantities of the chemical.
 
Despite its 50-plus year circulation into popular foods, the additive has not undergone extensive testing to determine its health effects on people.
 
“ADA is just one example of an American food supply awash in chemical additives that can be mixed into foods with little oversight or safety review,” said David Andrews, Ph.D., EWG senior scientist and co-author for the analysis. “Americans have regularly eaten this chemical along with hundreds of other questionable foods additives for years. That is why we are putting together an online database that will enable consumers to make more informed decisions about the foods they eat and feed to their family.”
 
The FDA allows ADA in U.S. food in concentrations up to 45 parts per million, but it is not approved for use as a food additive in either the European Union or Australia.
 
EWG is calling on food manufacturers to immediately end ADA use in food. The organization plans to launch an online campaign to raise public awareness of the widespread use of this chemical in food and to urge companies that have been using it to immediately drop it from their ingredients.
 
Earlier this month, Hari spearheaded an online petition that collected more than 92,000 signatures asking Subway to remove ADA from its sandwich bread. Soon after, Subway announced it had started phasing out the ingredient and that ADA would be completely removed from its menu in the near future. 
 
“As my campaign has shown, social media and grassroots advocacy can shake up the food industry and produce real change on behalf of consumers,” said Hari. “I will continue to work with EWG and others to keep the pressure on to get these industrial chemicals out of our food.”
 
EWG recommends shoppers consult the following list of products to find out if ADA or other chemical additives are in their food and to take steps to reduce exposure to them.
 
Brand Name* Product
Aladdin Bakers Jumbo Bagels Cinnamon Raisin
America’s Choice Muffin Sandwiches Turkey, Sausage, Egg & Cheese
Amigos Tortillas
Archer Farms Simply Balanced 100% Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
Arnold Bakery Light 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Sandwich Rolls, Wheat
Artichoke Basilles Pizza Co. Margherita Pizza
Artisan Fresh Jumbo Wheat Hoagie
Aunt Hattie’s Onion Buns
Potato Hamburger Enriched Buns
Aunt Millie’s Honey & Hamburger Buns
Whole Grain Bread
Bagel-Fuls Bagel Filled With Cream Cheese, Original
Baker’s Treat Big Texas Cheese Roll Pastries
Ball Park Flame Grilled Barbeque Chicken Slider
Flame Grilled Beef Sliders
Flame Grilled Cheese Burger Silders
Hot Dog Buns
Bell’s Traditional Stuffing
Betty Crocker Pasta Caesar Salad
Suddenly Pasta Salad, Caesar
Big Az Cheeseburger
Bimbo Bread Crumbs
Double Fiber Bread
Large Wheat Bread
Sabor Chocolate
Toasted Bread
Toasted Bread, Original
Bon Appetit Apple Danish
Blueberry Cream Pastry
Cheese & Berries Danish
Cheese Croissant
Super Cinnamon Roll
Bridgford Cinnamon Pull-Apart Monkey Bread
Ready-Dough Frozen White Bread Dough
Brownberry Chicago Hot Dog Rolls
Kaiser Sandwich Buns
Sandwich Buns, Onion
Sausage Rolls, Original
Bunny Hot Dog Buns
Butternut 1/2 Loaf White Enriced Bread
All Whole Grain 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Brown’ N Serve Enriched Rolls
Deluxe Buns
Enriched Burger Buns, Sliced
Enriched Hot Dog Buns, Sliced
Hearty Rye Bread
Honey Wheat Bread
Italian Bread
Large Enriched Bread
Sliced Buns, Seeded
Whole Grain White Bread
Whole Wheat Bread
Castillo Castillo Croissants
Centrella Hot Dog Buns, Enriched
Restaurant Style Caesar Crotons
Chef M.J. Brando Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Cheddar
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Swiss
Clear Value White Bread
Cloverhill Apple Danish
Cole’s Cheesesticks
Garlic Mini Loaf
Connella Bread Crumbs
Corfu Foods Inc. Hand Made Pita
Country Hearth Dakota Style 12 Grain Bread
Hearty Homestyle 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Hearty Homestyle Honey Grain ‘n Oat Bread
Split Top Wheat Bread
Split Top White Bread
D’italiano Italian Bread
Day’n Night Bites Country Sausge Muffin With Egg’n Cheese
Drake’s Danish Pastries Cheese
Earthgrains Honey Wheat Berry Bread
Sliced French Premium Bread
Wheat Rolls
Entenmann’s Raspberry Danish
Essential Everyday 5 Cheese Texas Toast
Garlic Bread
Garlic Bread Sticks
Garlic Texas Toast
European Bakers Onion Rolls
White Sub Rolls
Farm Rich French Toast Sticks, Cinnamon Sprinkle
French Toast Sticks, Original
Fiber One Hamburger Buns
Hot Dog Buns
Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Baking Mix, Pretzel Creations
Simply Homemade No Knead Bread Mix, Country White
Simply Homemade No Knead Bread Mix, Italian Herb
Simply Homemade No Knead Bread Mix, Multi-Grain
Food Club Caesar Restaurant Style Croutons
Garlic Cheesesticks
Garlic Dinner Rolls
Seasoned Restaurant Style Croutons
Strawberry Strudel
Stuffing Classics Cornbread Stuffing Mix
Texas Toast, 3 Cheese
Texas Toast, Garlic
French Toast Sticks
Garlic Bread Sticks
Texas Toast, 3 Cheese
Freihofer’s White Bread
Fresh Gourmet Premium Croutons, Butter & Garlic
Premium Croutons, Cheese & Garlic
Premium Croutons, Classic Caesar
Premium Croutons, Garden Herb
Premium Croutons, Italian Seasoned
Premium Croutons, Parmesan Ranch
Furlani Garlic Bread
Multi Grain Garlic Toast
Parmesan Garlic Toast
Texas Toast, Garlic
Texas Toast, Pizza
Texas Toast, Three Cheese
Gateway Soft Rye Bread
Gimbo Conchas Fine Pastry
Gollo Galletas De Huevo (Eggs Crackers)
Gonnella Sandwich Rolls
Great Value Honey Buns
Hot Dog Buns
Wheat Sandwhich Bread
Grissom’s Hot Dog Sliced Enriched Buns
Harvest Pride Awesome Rolls
Seeded Italian Bread
Texas Toast Bread
Wheat Bread
White Enriched Bread
Hauswald’s Enriched Bread
Split Top Wheat Bread
Healthy Life 100% Whole Grain Wheat Bread, Flaxseed
100% Whole Grain Wheat Bread, Sugar Free
100% Whole Wheat English Muffins
100% Whole Wheat Whole Grain Bread
High Fiber White Bread
Hot Dog Buns, Whole Grain
Italian Bread
Light English Muffins
Light Multigrain English Muffins
Soft Style 100% Whole Grain Bread
Hearth Of Texas Bread Company 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Enriched Large White Bread
Extra Thin White Bread
Split Top Wheat Bread
Whole Grain White Bread
Honey Hot Dog Buns
Hormel Country Crock Homestyle Stuffing
Hungry-Man Roasted Carved White Meat Turkey
Ihop French Toast Breakfast Sandwich, Egg, Canadian Bacon & Cheese
French Toast Breakfast Sandwich, Maple Sausage, Egg & Cheese
J. Skinner Cinnamon Craver’s Roll
J.C. Potter Sausage On A Bun
J.J. Cassone 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rolls
Enriched Vienna Rolls
Italian Bread
Sliced Hero Rolls
Sliced Sandwich Rolls
Wheat Bran Sandwich Rolls
Jimmy Dean Delights Honey Wheat Flatbread, Bacon, Egg & Cheese
Delights Honey Wheat Flatbread, Turkey Sausage, Egg & Cheese
French Toast Griddlers
Muffin, Sausage, Egg & Cheese
Sausage, Egg & Cheese On A Muffin
Turkey Sausages Egg White & Cheese Whole Grain Bagel
Joseph Campione Authentic Hearth Baked Garlic Bread
Bread Sticks, Garlic
Cheese Stuffed Bread Sticks
Dinner Rolls, Parmesan Garlic
Garlic Bread, Authentic Hearth Baked
Garlic Mini Loaf
Texas Toast, 5 Cheese
Texas Toast, Garlic
Texas Toast, Parmesan
Key Food Seeded Rye European Hearth Bread, Deli Style
Seedless Rye European Hearth Bread, Deli Style
Kid Cuisine Kc’s Campfire Hot Dog
Kroger White Enriched Bread
White Hamburger Enriched Buns
L’oven Fresh Split Top Wheat Bread
Lakeland Hot Dog Buns Enriched
White Enriched Sandwich Bread
Lewis Healthy Life Wheat Hot Dog Buns
Whole Wheat Sandwich Buns
Liberty Hearth New York Deli Kaiser Rolls, Poppy
Little Debbie Cheese Danish Classic Pastry
Cinnamon Rolls With Icing
Cream Cheese Danish Pastry
Danish Pastry, Cherry Cheese
Honey Buns
Maglio Stromboli, Philly Style Steak & Cheese
Manischewitz Pumpernickel Bread
Mariano’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Asiago Cheese Focaccia
Bell Pepper Focaccia Muffins
Breadstics
Butterflake Rolls
Cheese Pizza Bread
Chefs Collection Italian Focaccia Half
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Club Rolls
Egg And Onion Brat Bun
Egg Dinner Rolls
English Muffin Bread
Fresh Tomato Focaccia
Garlic Bread
Ham Swiss Sub
Hamburger Buns
Hard Rolls
Hot Dog Buns
Italian Bread
Italian Specialty Bread By The Pound
Jalapeno Cheddar Focaccia
Jalapeno Cheddar Focaccia Muffins
Kaiser Rolls
Large Kaiser Rolls
Marble Rye Bread
Olive And Parmesan Chop Block Bread
Onion Rye Specialty Bread
Paisano Italiano Sandwich
Parisian Chocolate Croissant
Roast Beef & Cheddar Croissant
Rotisserie Chicken Salad Croissant
Rye Specialty Bread By The Pound
Salami And Provolone Chop Block Bread
Tomato Basil Chop Block Bread
Walnut Raisin Specialty Bread
Wheat Bread
Wheat Club Rolls
Wheat Dinner Rolls
Wheat Hamburger Buns
Wheat Hot Dog Buns
White Bread
Whole Wheat Specialty Bread
Marie Callender’s Flaky Croissant With Ham & Swiss
Flaky Croissant With Sausage, Egg & Monterey Jack
Spaghetti With Meat Sauce
Market Street Butterflake Rolls
Martin’s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Potato Bread
Hoagie Rolls, Unseeded
Long Roll, Potato Rolls
Potato Bread, 100% Whole Wheat
Potato Bread, Sandwich
Potato Rolls
Potatobred Soft Cubed Stuffing
Marty’s Large Rolls
Master Hamburger Enriched Buns
Hot Dog Enriched Buns
Mckee Cheese Danish With Icing
Cinnamon Rolls
Mediterranean Pita Bread
Met Foodmarkets Giant White Enriched Bread
Hamburgers Enriched Buns
Hot Dogs Enriched Buns
Mother’s Giant Enriched White Bread
Split Top Wheat Bread
Mrs Baird’s Pastry Kitchen Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Rolls, Cherry
Cinnamon Rolls, Original
Mrs. Cubbison’s Butter & Garlic Croutons
Corn Bread Stuffing, Seasoned
Seasoned Croutons
Mrs. Freshley’s Honey Buns
Murry’s French Toast Bites, Cinnamon Blase
Nature’s Own 100% Whole Grain
100% Whole Wheat Bread
100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rolls
100% Whole Wheat Thin Sliced Bagels
Butterbread
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
Double Fiber Wheat Bread
Honey Wheat Bread
Hot Dog Rolls
Sandwich Rounds, Multi-Grain
Thin Sliced Bagels, Plain
White Wheat Bread
Whole Grain Bread
New York Bread Sticks With Real Garlic
Hand-Tied Garlic Knots With Real Garlic
Texas Toast, 5 Cheese
Texas Toast, Garlic
New York Deli Kaiser Rolls, Plain
Kaiser Rolls, Sesame
Old Style Cottage Potato Bread
One Republic Skinny Buns
Oroweat Raisin Cinnamon Bread
Palagonia 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rolls
French Bread
Italian Bread
Mini Heros
Panino Italiano
Rolls
Sliced Italina Bread
Patriotic Honey Buns
Pelmen Blueberry Perogies Peroguis Aux Bleuets
Mushrooms Champigons
Perogies, Cherry
Perogies, Potato With Cheddar Cheese
Perogies, Potato With Cottage Cheese
Perogies, Potato With Spinach & Feta
Perogies, Sauerkraut
Perogies, Sauerkraut Mushrooms
Perogies, Sweet Cottage Cheese
Pillsbury Artisan Dinner Rolls
Artisan Pizza Crust With Whole Grain
Breadsticks, Original
Crusty French Loaf
Italian Bread
Pizza Crust, Thin Crust
Toaster Scrambles, Cheese Sauce, Egg & Bacon
Toaster Scrambles, Cheese Sauce, Egg & Sausage
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Apple
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Apple Cream Danish
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Blueberry
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Boston Cream Pie
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Cinnamon With Brown Sugar
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Cream Cheese & Strawberry
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Danish Style Cream Cheese
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Strawberry
Potmann’s Select Seasoned Croutons
Rainbo Thin Sliced White Bread
Raybern’s New York Deli Style Raybern’s New York Deli Style Philly Cheesesteak
Roast Beef Cheddar Melt
Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls, Cream Cheese Frosting
Roman Meal 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Rosa Bianca Garlic Bread
Rosen’s Sweet Hawaiian Rolls
Roundy’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Blueberry Bagels
Bratwurst Enriched Buns, Sliced
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bagel
Croissant Sandwiches
Croutons, Cheese & Garlic
Croutons, Seasoned
Deli Rye Bread, Seedless
Enriched Hot Dog Buns
Everything Bagels
French Bread
Garlic Bread, Original
Garlic Bread, Parmesan
Hamburger Enriched Buns
Italian Sausage Tortelloni
Meat & Fine Herbs Ravioli
Muffin Sandwiches, Ham Egg And Cheese
Muffin Sandwiches, Sausage, Egg & Cheese
Plain Bagels
Presliced Everything Bagels
Quarter Pound Chicken Sandwich
Select 9 Grain Bread
Texas Toast, Garlic
Texas Toast, Three Cheese
Wheat Bread, Split Top
Wheat Muffin Sandwiches, Turkey Sausage, Egg White & Cheese
White Enriched Bread
White Enriched Sandwich Bread
S.Rosen’s Black Bavarian Rye Bread
Bohemian Style Rye Bread
Brat & Sausage Rolls
Enriched Hot Dog Buns
French Rolls, Italian Beef Rolls
Hawaiian Bread, Pineapple
Kaiser Buns
Marble Rye Swirled
Multi Grain Bread
Rye Bread
Rye Bread, Caraway Seeds
Rye Bread, Unseeded
Wheat With Oat Bran Buns
Safeway Cornbread Stuffing Mix
Five Cheese Garlic Toast
Sara Lee Blueberry Crumble Breakfast Bread
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Breakfast Bread
Center Split Deli Rolls, White
Cinnamon Breakfast Bread With Raisins
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Cinnamon Rolls
Classic Dinner Rolls
Deluxe Bagels, Blueberry
Deluxe Bagels, Cinnamon Raisin
Deluxe Bagels, Plain
Hearty & Delicious 100% Whole Wheat Deli Rolls
Hearty & Delicious Center Split Deli Rolls, White
Honey Wheat Bread
Soft & Smooth 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Soft & Smooth 100% Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns
Soft & Smooth Hamburger Buns, White
Soft & Smooth Hot Dog Buns, White
Soft & Smooth Wheat Hamburger Buns
White Bread
Schmidt Enriched Bread
Enriched Hamburger Rolls, Sliced
Rye Bread
Wheat Rolls
Whole Grain White Bread
Select Signatures Spicy Chicken Sliders
Shoprite Bangles Whole Wheat
Cinnamon Bread
Country White Bread
Enriched Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Enriched Honey Wheat Bread
Enriched Light Hot Dog Rolls
Enriched Light Wheat Bread
Enriched Round Top White Bread
Garlic Bread Sticks
Garlic Dinner Rolls
Hot Dog Rolls
Italian Bread
Onion Bagels
Poppy Bagels
Potato Hamburger Rolls
Premium Bread
Premium Bread With 100% Stone Ground Wheat
Sandwich White Bread
Sesame Bagels
Sliced Hearth Baked Plain Bagels
Split Top White Bread
Swirl Rye Bread
Texas Toast Garlic
Wheat Bread
Simplyaddwater Premium Challah Bread Mix
Smucker’s Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly Sandwich
Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Grape Spread Sandwich, Reduced Sugar
Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Rasperry Spread Sandwich
Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam Sandwich
Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Strawberry Spread Sandwich, Reduced Sugar
Snacks Iced Honey Buns
Storehmann Split Top Wheat Bread
White Bread
Sun-Maid Raisin Bread, Cinnamon Swirl
Sunbeam Enriched Buns
Grill’n Griddle Bread
Hot Dog Buns
Large, Enriched Bread
Texas Toast Enriched Bread, Thick Sliced
Super Bread Giant White Enriched Bread
Hamburger Enriched Buns
Honey Wheat Bread
Hot Dog Enriched Buns
Raisin Bread
Tastykake Glazed Honey Buns
Honey Bun
Iced Honey Buns
The Bakery At Walmart Glazed Yeast Donuts
Jumbo Croissant
Toufayan Bakeries Bagels Blueberry
Cinnamon Raisin
Everything Bagels
Mini Bagels, Cinnamon Raisin
Mini Bagels, Plain
Pre-Sliced Bagels, Whole Wheat
Pre-Sliced Mini Bagels, Whole Wheat
Turano Brat & Sausage Rolls
Extra Long French Bread
French Rolls
Gourmet Sandwich Rolls
Italian Bread
Kaiser Rolls
Old Fashioned Italian Bread
Soft Sub Rolls
Wheat French Rolls
Wheat Rolls
Tuscan Garden Caesar Gourmet Restaurant Style Croutons
Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwiches
Mini Chicken Sandwiches With Cheddar Cheese
Mini Grilled Chicken Sandwiches
Unger’s Puff Pastry Shells
Vachon Carrot Cakes
Valu Time Wheat Bread White Enriched Bread
Van De Kamp’s Enriched Hot Dog Buns Sliced
Village Hearth 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Cottage Bread, Wheat
Honey Wheat Bread
Light 12 Grain Bread
Light Italian Bread
Light Wheat Bread
White Brat Buns
Weight Watchers Smart Ones English Muffin Sandwich, Canadian Style Bacon
English Muffin Sandwich, Egg Whites & Cheese
Homestyle Turkey Breast With Stuffing
White Castle Cheeseburgers
Microwavable Hamburgers
White Rose Stuffing Mix
Wonder Light Wheat Bread
Potato Hot Dog Buns
Texas Toast Bread
 
Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD page for more related news on this topic.
 
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