Panera Bread on Wednesday detailed its plans to serve "clean" bacon in its sandwiches and salads.
Panera officials said that its new bacon would be made with just six ingredients — pork, water, sea salt, sugar, celery powder and thyme extract — and will be free of artificial preservatives and flavors.
The announcement comes two years after the restaurant chain vowed to remove artificial ingredients from its menu by the end of 2016.
“As we approached the challenge of remaking bacon without artificial curing agents and preservatives, we took another step back to think about bacon as it should be: the perfect slice," head chef Dan Kish said in a statement.
The "clean bacon" will be 25 percent thicker, brined with herbs and seasonings and made with extra applewood smoke. It will also be removed from ovens and served at room temperature — rather than go into a refrigerator — to improve its texture.
In addition, the bacon will be sourced from pigs that meet the company's animal welfare standards, while bits and trimmings will be used in salads to reduce waste.
The company planned a demonstration of the new bacon in New York City’s Meatpacking District on Wednesday.
"By removing artificial additives, we made a switch to better ingredients, better texture and, ultimately, better flavor," said CEO Ron Shaich.