Subway chemical, also in yoga mats, removed from sandwich bread

What sort of ingredients do you expect in your sandwich bread? Flour, yeast, and maybe a few whole grains are probably the first things that come to mind. “A chemical found in yoga mats” is likely not, which led to a major publicity nightmare for Subway this week. The global sandwich chain said Thursday that it would be removing such a chemical from its bread, a week after a petition called for its removal. The petition was organized by Vani Hari, a popular food blogger who runs the website Foodbabe.com. The chemical, called azodicarbonamide, is a plastic additive used as a bleaching agent in Subway’s bread and used in other products to increase elasticity. Azodicarbonamide is legal in the US and Canada, and deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration. But the World Health Organization has warned of a link between the chemical and certain medical issues, and Subway does not use it in bread sold in its European and Australian locations….more

**Flour bleaching agents are added to flour to make it appear whiter (freshly milled flour is yellowish), to oxidize the surfaces of the flour grains, and help with developing of gluten.  Oxidizing agents are added to flour to help with gluten development. They may or may not also act as bleaching agents. Originally flour was naturally aged through exposure to the atmosphere. Oxidizing agents primarily affect sulfur-containing amino acids, ultimately helping to form disulfide bridges between the gluten molecules. The addition of these agents to flour will create a stronger dough.-From Hui and Corke 2006, p. 233.**

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