Over time, a chemical known as ADA has made it’s way into over 500 foods. In the most recent news, Subway will now be removing it from it’s bread. However, over 130 other brands on the market such as Sarah Lee and Pillsbury still contain the chemical known as azodicarbonamide or ADA.
ADA is commonly used in products such as rubber, plastics, and ceramics. This allowed them to be lighter and more elastic. Somehow they were then added to food products to create a softer texture.
Grupo Bimbo (GRBMF), which owns Sara Lee’s bakery business, said in a statement that it had been working “aggressively for some time” to remove ADA from everything it makes. “The majority of our products are already ADA-free,” the company said, “as we have made considerable progress to date eliminating this ingredient.” Pillsbury declined to comment (source).
Generally ADA was not a known substance to the public util a blog released a petition demanding that Subway stop using azodicarbonamide in their bread.
What Are The Dangers of ADA?
So what’s the big deal all about??? ADA is a chemical used in plastics and rubber.
- It contains urethane, formally known as a carcinogen.
- It also contains semicarbazide, which has been know to cause cancer of the lungs and blood vessels in mice.
How Did ADA Make It Into Our Food!??
Let’s be real this substance should have never been approved for human consumption!! SO why is ADA even in our food? It was passed in 1962 by the FDA. ADA gained popularity when it took the place of another dough softener known as potassium bromate. Potassium bromate was then banned in 1987 after it was found to cause cancer in animals. This substance was never approved in Europe or in Australia.
While the FDA feels that the minimal amounts of ADA in flour are “safe,” the commissioner also feels that revisiting substances after 50 plus years is also a good idea. How nice of him !?
The FDA continues to make changes to claims over time such as “hydrogenated oil.” Which are now considered to be unsafe. Meanwhile, people have known for decades that this type of fat should not be in our foods or in our grocery stores.
The Flip side of ADA
Chemical additives are hard to avoid entirely. As John Coupland, a professor of food science at Penn State, noted on Popsci.com:
“Urethane is found in bread made without azodicarbonamide, but no one is arguing we ban bread for that reason. Toasting bread doubles or triples the urethane content, a much greater increase than adding azodicarbonamide, but no one is arguing we should ban toasters because of that.”
While the use of ADA in Subway chains is how America “found out” about this substance recently, it’s not the only company using it. Personally, I would rather have firmer dough with less leavening then be eating chemicals. To be quite frank, I don’t even eat bread due to my food allergies (this could be part of the reason). If you have family and friends that consume large amounts of process bread then it might be a good time to share this fitness tip with them. Pass it along and share the health and fitness love around the world and around the web!
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