Food Safety Focus (92nd Issue, March 2014) – Food Incident Highlight
Azodicarbonamide in Bread
Last month, the media reported that a global submarine sandwich chain announced their plan to stop using azodicarbonamide in all breads sold in the US and Canada in response to consumers’ petition. The issue has attracted media attention to the safety of azodicarbonamide in bread.
Azodicarbonamide is a chemical generally used as a blowing agent in the production of foamed plastics. It can also be used as a food additive to strengthen and enhance the elasticity of the dough. The World Health Organization considers that the main concern of azodicarbonamide relates to the risk of developing occupational asthma in the work environment. Nevertheless, such health effect has not been observed from the consumption of bread with azodicarbonamide. The Codex Alimentarius Commission and a number of countries (e.g. the US, Canada, Mainland China and Korea) have set standards for the use of azodicarbonamide in flours.
Traders are advised to use food additives in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice to achieve the desired technological effect and label their food products properly.
Azodicarbonamide is a food additive used to strengthen and enhance the elasticity of the dough for making bread.