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Subway says 'yoga mat' chemical will be out of bread in week; 'happy to invite consumers back'

FILE - This Aug. 11, 2009, file photo, shows a chicken breast sandwich and water from Subway on a kitchen counter in New York. Subway says an ingredient dubbed the "yoga mat" chemical will be entirely phased out of its bread by the week of April 14, 2014. The disclosure comes as Subway has suffered from an onslaught of bad publicity since a food blogger petitioned the chain to remove the ingredient.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File
April 12, 2014 - 4:58 AM

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Subway says an ingredient that has been dubbed the "yoga mat" chemical will be entirely phased out of its bread by next week.

The disclosure comes as Subway has suffered from bad publicity since a food blogger petitioned the chain to remove the ingredient.

The ingredient is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and can be found in a variety of products. But the blogger said she targeted Subway because of its healthy food image.

The petition gained attention after it noted the chemical was also used as a bleaching agent and to make yoga mats.

Tony Pace, Subway's chief marketing officer, told the AP in a phone interview that the chain started phasing the ingredient late last year and that the process should be complete within a week.

The ingredient, azodicarbonamide, is approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration and widely used in a variety of products including at Burger King and breads sold in supermarkets. But the food blogger who petitioned Subway to remove the ingredient, Vani Hari, said she targeted the chain because of its image of serving fresh food.

Subway isn't the only company to make a change in response to consumer feedback. Here are some recent examples of recipe changes by major food makers:

— Starbucks removed cochineal extract, a red dye made from crushed bugs, from its food and drinks after an online petition.

— PepsiCo removed brominated vegetable oil from Gatorade. An online petition had noted the ingredient's link to flame retardants.

— Kraft Foods says it will reformulate select varieties of its macaroni and cheese next year to use natural colours.

— Chick-fil-A has been removing artificial dyes and high-fructose corn syrup from dressings and sauces. The chain is also switching to chicken raised without antibiotics.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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