Are you eating this common chemical in your bread?

Banned in Europe, Australia & the UK


Hard to say, harder to believe you have probably eaten this chemical many times in your life, perhaps on a daily basis.  If all those gluten freedom fighters haven't scared you away from bread, this might.

So what is it? 

Azodicarbonamide is a chemical used in the process of making foam plastics, you know, like your yoga mat and rubber clogs!  In 2005 laws were passed in Europe to ban azodicarbonamide from being used in the production of plastics that are intended to come in direct contact with food.  But what if I told you this chemical is being used in the bread you eat everyday in the US.  That's right, azodicarbonamide has yet to be banned in the United States and not just in the production of food storage products, but in the food itself.  The FDA in the US will allow up to 45ppm of this chemical to be added to flour, thus ending up in your bread.

 Why is it in my bread?

Azodicarbonamide is added to flour as a bleaching agent and to help give the bread a longer lasting fresh look.  For this reason it is often found in many fast food restaurants and common store brand white breads.

What are the health risks?

Azodicarbonamide has been identified as respiratory sensitizer which is a possible cause of asthma and other breathing problems.  Anther concern is that as the chemical heats during cooking it forms trace amounts of semicarbazide which shows signs of carcinogenicity (think cigarettes) which can result in tumors over time.

Where do I find it?

Though azodicarbonamide is banned in many countries, it is still legal in the US.  Most fast food restaurants (including Subway and Starbucks) use it in their bread to keep it looking and feeling fresh.  Below is a list of brands know to use azodicarbonamide in their bread:

Sarah Lee

Burger King
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Please, next time you buy bread, make sure to take a second look at the ingredients.  Unless you want to eat your shoe.. Literally!

More information on Azodicarbonamide

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