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FOOD BABE TV: Are You Eating This Ingredient Banned All Over The World?

Are you eating this ingredient banned all over the world? Find out on the next episode of Food Babe TV right here:

Watch Now:

Azodicarbonamide 101

  • Azodicarbonamide is a yellow orangish powder, more commonly used commercially in the creation of foamed plastics – like yoga mats, shoe soles, floor mats and window gaskets.
  • The FDA allows food companies to use azodicarbonamide as a flour bleaching agent and dough conditioner in any food product giving it a status of GRAS or “Generally Regarded As Safe”.
  • But, the FDA doesn’t even keep track of the companies who use azodicarbonamide as an ingredient. The lack of information leads the FDA to not update or include an toxicity information about this ingredient in its EAFUS or “Everything Added to Food in the United States” database.
  • When a truck carrying azodicarbonamide overturned on a Chicago highway in 2001, it prompted city officials to issue the highest hazardous materials alert and evacuate people within a half mile radius! Many of the people on the scene complained of burning eyes and skin irritation as a result. (Source: Pandora’s Lunchbox by Melanie Warner)
  • The U.K. has recognized azodicarbonamide as a potential cause of asthma if inhaled, and advises against its use in people who have sensitivity to food dye allergies and other common allergies in food, because it can exacerbate the symptoms.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) studied azodicarbonamide, and also linked it to asthma and other allergic reactions.
  • When azodicarbonamide partially degrades with the heat of processing, it forms trace amounts of semicarbazide, which shows carcinogenicity that can result in tumors over time.
  • The United States is one of the only countries in the world that still allows this ingredient in our food supply. It is banned as a food additive in the U.K., Europe, and Australia, and if you get caught using it in Singapore you can get up to 15 years in prison and be fined $450,000. I’d like to see the head of the FDA put in jail for allowing it, wouldn’t you?

Popular Products That Contain Azodicarbonamide

Sara Lee (many of their breads, bagels, etc.) Sara Lee
McDonalds (almost all their breads, baked goods, bagels, etc.) McDonalds
Subway Breads (many items on the menu) Subway
Wendy’s (many items on the menu) Wendy's
Arby’s (almost all of their different breads) Arby's

These are just a few examples, but there are many more companies that use azodicarbonamide in their products (Pizza Hut, Publix Grocery StoreJason’s Deli, etc). There is a very good list of other companies and brands that use this ingredient on the “Good Guide” – check it out here.

Why The Heck Are Companies Using This Ingredient?

Dough conditioners allow companies to pass off chemically processed cheap food as “freshly baked” because it recreates perfect, evenly packed air pockets within the dough, improving the texture after coming out of large industrial machines from processing. If a company uses azodicarbonamide as a flour bleaching agent it speeds up the processing, making bread larger and whiter than normal. Faster processing with cheaper ingredients = more money in Big Food pockets.

The Next Time You See Your Friends or Family, Ask Them:

Remember to buy organic bakery goods that prohibit the use of highly questionable chemical ingredients like azodicarbonamide and other dough conditioners. Please spread the word and share this video with everyone you know… no one should be eating yoga mats, their shoe sole or a floor mat. Yuck.

Till next time…

Food Babe

P.S. Sign up for free updates to get the next episode of Food Babe TV delivered straight to your inbox.

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270 responses to “FOOD BABE TV: Are You Eating This Ingredient Banned All Over The World?

  1. Hello Food Connoisseur,

    My question is about, “What other lies McDonald’s is holding back from us?” I recently had a conversation from a friend who works there. About a video I posted on my Facebook page. She was really upset and didn’t want to believe the information that was provided. I was trying to explain that McDonalds doesn’t serve REAL FOOD in the way WE think of FOOD. I’ll post the video in this comment so you can see it for yourself. I would like feedback on this subject as well. I’ve looked through your feeds and can’t find any other information about McDonald’s other than fries, strawberry sauce, soda, milkshake, and McMuffin information. (McDonalds cheeseburger vs Hydrochloric Acid – in everyone’s stomach)

  2. Hi Food Babes,

    I just came across this site the other day. I have been trying to eat better, and this site has really opened my eyes to just how bad I have eaten my whole life. Anyways, I love it. Looks like it will be a great resource. I think it would be great if you had a glossary of food ingredients for a quick reference. You could even split it into healthy and bad or use green and red fonts to differentiate at a glance. I am glad I found your website. Keep up the good work!

  3. Mostly, azo is just banned in many countries. The only claim I saw that azo is bad for you is the UK cited azo as a respiratory sensitizer. The WHO says there isn’t enough data to make conclusions. If you decide not to use products that contain it, that’s your call.

    If someone in your family suffers from allergies, asthma, bronchitis, you would be doing them a much bigger favor if you got rid of air fresheners and fragranced laundry products.

    When you spray that stuff, you are basically spraying poison into the air. I knew a woman who was severely allergic to fabric softener.

  4. Yikes! The FDA wasn’t paying attention to that ingredient?

    I’d like to bring European snacks with me had I traveled to the United States of America.

  5. I believe all of the information about the yoga matt bread is TRUE; However, the information regarding the laws in other countries is not findable. The web pages listed on the blog are not real. There is no way to find out the specific laws and fines regarding food additives on a website, not even the direct countries government website releases it. There is no way to do it. I even contacted the Library of Congress. If I am wrong I would love for someone to tell me. [email protected].

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