Several weeks ago, concern was raised by environmental groups about a chemical called Azodicarbonamide, (ADA) a chemical foaming agent that is used in some plastics (like yoga mats) being a common additive in commercially prepared bread. ADA added to bread flour shortens the processing time for commercial bakers by making the dough rise more quickly.
We asked Dr. Stanley Tocker, a chemist with CECON, what he thought of the toxicity of this chemical.
Dr. Tocker reported that this chemical has not been widely tested, but he did not see any supported data on toxicity. While there is lots of chatter about the dangers of this chemical, it appears to be safe at the concentrations (40-50 parts per billion) in commercial products.
According to Dr. Tocker, when ADA is cooked, it breaks down, leaving behind miniscule residues of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and carbon dioxide. Such levels of these chemicals have not been found to be harmful to humans.
So, for now, until solid evidence is presented, you don’t need to worry when eating your sandwich rolls in restaurants!