A consumer advocacy group warns that nearly 500 food products contain the chemical used in yoga mats that Subway recently vowed to remove from its bread.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that many large food companies use the ingredient, including Ball Park, Jimmy Dean, Butternut, Little Debbie, Pillsbury, Sara Lee, Smucker’s.
In the food industry, ADA is used in many commercial baked goods as a “dough conditioner” that makes batches of dough easier to handle and results in a “puffier” finished product, according to the EWG report.
Despite the fact that the Food and Drug Administration approved ADA as a food additive in 1962, EWG maintains that the ingredient is a synthetic chemical that should not be used in food production.
Interestingly, ADA rose to prominence as a food ingredient when California’s Proposition 65, which required California authorities to list certain chemicals used in food as “possibly dangerous to human health” went into effect in 1987. According to EWG, potassium bromate, the common dough conditioner of the day, was added to the Prop 65 list in 1991, with ADA being named a safer substitute.