Tampa, Florida-- The news of Subway restaurants, removing the chemical Azodicarbonaminde from it's products, made headlines across the globe, as the chemical is found in yoga mats, and sneakers.
But what exactly is Azodicarbonaminde, or ADA for short?
STORY: FDA pressured to ban 'elasticity' chemical in bread
We spoke with University of South Florida Microbiologist, Jill Roberts.
Click here to see if your favorite food contains this chemical.
"It's a dough conditioner. So when you go to Subway, and break open that bread, it has a really nice pattern of bubbles in it. That chemical is one of the reasons it has that pattern. And no matter where you go in the country, every loaf of Subway bread will look exactly the same," Roberts explained.
The chemical is banned in Europe, but as to why the USDA and FDA approved it here?
STORY: FDA bread additive removed by Subway is safe
"As long as you're at this amount, which is 2 grams per hundred grams of flour, it's safe. There have been studies that have linked it to asthma and skin allergies, but what was interesting about those studies, is they weren't eating the chemical. They were inhaling it, or they were coming into large contact," said Roberts.
Despite our expert's confidence in ADA's safety, we reached out to several restaurants to ask if they'll follow Subway's lead.
Starbucks says they already offer an ADA-free line of products in parts of California, and hopes for a nationwide rollout.
Locally-owned Publix grocery stores sent us this statement:
"Many of our products are already free of Azodicarbonamide. That includes the majority of our breads, including Italian, Italian 5 grain, French bread, hot dog and hamburger buns, dinner and potato rolls, and 100% whole wheat bread, and whole wheat sub rolls."
During our visit to Publix, we found this to be true. As for the lesser number of products with ADA, the grocery chain says their goal is to be ADA-free in all bread items by the end of the year.
Something else to keep in mind? Processed foods have a lot of OTHER chemicals too. To put it into perspective?
"You're getting far more chemical breakdown in the beer you've been drinking."
Roberts says she'd be more concerned about getting sick from things like foodborne illnesses, than ADA.
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