Yoga Mat Ingredient Found in Nearly 500 Foods

Check this list to see if your favorite foods contain this unnecessary ingredient.

February 27, 2014

Would you like some synthetic shoe leather in that sandwich? You'd probably gasp if your sandwich builder asked you that, but the truth is, azodicarbonamide, an industrial chemical foaming agent used to make synthetic leather as well as yoga mats and dozens of other consumer products, is found in nearly 500 foods, according to a new report from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG).


Azodicarbonamide, also known as ADA, makes materials—and bread—strong, light, spongy, and malleable, which makes it appealing to food scientists, who have slipped it into all sorts of your favorite foods, including many bread products. That's right, a yoga mat ingredient in your food is a real thing you now have to deal with, on top of all of the pesticides and other nasty food additives in the U.S. food system. In addition to yoga mats and shoe soles, the chemical is used in attic foam insulation. It's been approved as a food additive in the U.S. since 1962, despite the fact that it's banned in the European Union and Australia.

Subway recently announced plans to phase ADA out of its breads, thanks to a petition created by food-safety advocate Vani Hari, aka the Food Babe, but the chemical is still found in bread used at many other fast food chains like Wendy's, McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, and Burger King, according to EWG.

More from Rodale News: The 15 Grossest Things You're Eating


The chemical is generally regarded as safe at the lower levels people ingest by eating mass-produced dough products, like rolls, bread, and stuffing. And in fact, according to the Centers for Science in the Public Interest, it's actually a carcinogenic breakdown product called urethane that poses the biggest threat from its use. When flour containing ADA is baked, urethane is formed. The levels of urethane in a finished product vary based on how much ADA was in the flour, which isn't usually disclosed.

Still, the World Health Organization shows larger amounts of ADA itself have triggered respiratory symptoms and skin problems in occupational settings. Beyond that, EWG says it's not a very well researched food additive and, at the very least, it is not necessary! So why is this cosmetic ingredient infiltrating the food supply? Industry loves ADA because it keeps bread products puffier and more likely to withstand shipping and storage.

EWG, creator of the popular Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database, is in the process of creating a new food ingredients database that will feature ingredients in 80,000 foods using data from FoodEssentials, a company that compiles details about the ingredients in foods sold in American supermarkets. Mining that resource, the watchdog group found nearly 500 food items, including 130 brands of bread, stuffing, and snacks, that contain ADA. It was listed as an ingredient on products from Ball Park, Butternut, Country Hearth, Fleischman's, Food Club, Harvest Pride, Healthy Life, Jimmy Dean, Joseph Campione, Kroger, Little Debbie, Mariano's, Marie Callendar's, Martin's, Mother's, Nature's Own, Pillsbury, Roman Meal, Sara Lee, Schmidt, Shoprite, Safeway, Smucker's, Sunbeam, Turano, Tyson, Village Hearth and Wonder.

Free Download! 27 Foods You Should Never Eat


Here's how to avoid this nasty yoga mat ingredient in food:
• Avoid foods making "dough conditioner" claims or listing azodicarbonamide or ADA in the ingredients list.

• Make your own bread, it's easy!

• Choose organic! EWG said no organic foods in their upcoming database contained ADA. (The upcoming database will compile supermarket food ingredients and draw from layers of research on hazard concerns like pesticide residues, food additives, and contaminants.)

• Most importantly, avoid the following foods EWG found to contain ADA.

See EWG's complete list of ADA-containing foods on the next page...

Brand Name*


Aladdin Bakers

Jumbo Bagels Cinnamon Raisin

America's Choice

Muffin Sandwiches Turkey, Sausage, Egg & Cheese



Archer Farms

Simply Balanced 100% Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns


Bakery Light 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Sandwich Rolls, Wheat

Artichoke Basilles Pizza Co.

Margherita Pizza

Artisan Fresh

Jumbo Wheat Hoagie

Aunt Hattie's

Onion Buns
Potato Hamburger Enriched Buns

Aunt Millie's

Honey & Hamburger Buns
Whole Grain Bread


Bagel Filled With Cream Cheese, Original

Baker's Treat

Big Texas Cheese Roll Pastries

Ball Park

Flame Grilled Barbeque Chicken Slider
Flame Grilled Beef Sliders
Flame Grilled Cheese Burger Silders
Hot Dog Buns


Traditional Stuffing

Betty Crocker

Pasta Caesar Salad
Suddenly Pasta Salad, Caesar

Big Az



Bread Crumbs
Double Fiber Bread
Large Wheat Bread
Sabor Chocolate
Toasted Bread
Toasted Bread, Original

Bon Appetit

Apple Danish
Blueberry Cream Pastry
Cheese & Berries Danish
Cheese Croissant
Super Cinnamon Roll


Cinnamon Pull-Apart Monkey Bread
Ready-Dough Frozen White Bread Dough


Chicago Hot Dog Rolls
Kaiser Sandwich Buns
Sandwich Buns, Onion
Sausage Rolls, Original


Hot Dog Buns


½ Loaf White Enriced Bread
All Whole Grain 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Brown 'N Serve Enriched Rolls
Deluxe Buns
Enriched Burger Buns, Sliced
Enriched Hot Dog Buns, Sliced
Hearty Rye Bread
Honey Wheat Bread
Italian Bread
Large Enriched Bread
Sliced Buns, Seeded
Whole Grain White Bread
Whole Wheat Bread


Castillo Croissants


Hot Dog Buns, Enriched
Restaurant Style Caesar Crotons

Chef M.J. Brando

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Cheddar
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Swiss

Clear Value

White Bread


Apple Danish


Garlic Mini Loaf


Bread Crumbs

Corfu Foods Inc.

Hand Made Pita

Country Hearth

Dakota Style 12 Grain Bread
Hearty Homestyle 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Hearty Homestyle Honey Grain 'n Oat Bread
Split Top Wheat Bread
Split Top White Bread


Italian Bread

Day'n Night Bites

Country Sausage Muffin with Egg'n Cheese


Danish Pastries Cheese


Honey Wheat Berry Bread
Sliced French Premium Bread
Wheat Rolls


Raspberry Danish

Essential Everyday

5 Cheese Texas Toast
Garlic Bread
Garlic Bread Sticks
Garlic Texas Toast

European Bakers

Onion Rolls
White Sub Rolls

Farm Rich

French Toast Sticks, Cinnamon Sprinkle
French Toast Sticks, Original

Fiber One

Hamburger Buns
Hot Dog Buns


Simply Homemade Baking Mix, Pretzel Creations
Simply Homemade No Knead Bread Mix, Country White
Simply Homemade No Knead Bread Mix, Italian Herb
Simply Homemade No Knead Bread Mix, Multi-Grain

Food Club

Caesar Restaurant Style Croutons
Garlic Cheesesticks
Garlic Dinner Rolls
Seasoned Restaurant Style Croutons
Strawberry Strudel
Stuffing Classics Cornbread Stuffing Mix
Texas Toast, 3 Cheese
Texas Toast, Garlic
French Toast Sticks
Garlic Bread Sticks
Texas Toast, 3 Cheese


White Bread

Fresh Gourmet

Premium Croutons, Butter & Garlic
Premium Croutons, Cheese & Garlic
Premium Croutons, Classic Caesar
Premium Croutons, Garden Herb
Premium Croutons, Italian Seasoned
Premium Croutons, Parmesan Ranch


Garlic Bread
Multi Grain Garlic Toast
Parmesan Garlic Toast
Texas Toast, Garlic
Texas Toast, Pizza
Texas Toast, Three Cheese


Soft Rye Bread


Conchas Fine Pastry


Galletas De Huevo (Eggs Crackers)


Sandwich Rolls

Great Value

Honey Buns
Hot Dog Buns
Wheat Sandwhich Bread


Hot Dog Sliced Enriched Buns

Harvest Pride

Awesome Rolls
Seeded Italian Bread
Texas Toast Bread
Wheat Bread
White Enriched Bread


Enriched Bread
Split Top Wheat Bread

Healthy Life

100% Whole Grain Wheat Bread, Flaxseed
100% Whole Grain Wheat Bread, Sugar Free
100% Whole Wheat English Muffins
100% Whole Wheat Whole Grain Bread
High Fiber White Bread
Hot Dog Buns, Whole Grain
Italian Bread
Light English Muffins
Light Multigrain English Muffins
Soft Style 100% Whole Grain Bread

Hearth Of Texas Bread Company

100% Whole Wheat Bread
Enriched Large White Bread
Extra Thin White Bread
Split Top Wheat Bread
Whole Grain White Bread


Hot Dog Buns


Country Crock Homestyle Stuffing


Roasted Carved White Meat Turkey


French Toast Breakfast Sandwich, Egg, Canadian Bacon & Cheese
French Toast Breakfast Sandwich, Maple Sausage, Egg & Cheese

J. Skinner

Cinnamon Craver's Roll

J.C. Potter

Sausage On A Bun

J.J. Cassone

100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rolls
Enriched Vienna Rolls
Italian Bread
Sliced Hero Rolls
Sliced Sandwich Rolls
Wheat Bran Sandwich Rolls

Jimmy Dean

Delights Honey Wheat Flatbread, Bacon, Egg & Cheese
Delights Honey Wheat Flatbread, Turkey Sausage, Egg & Cheese
French Toast Griddlers
Muffin, Sausage, Egg & Cheese
Sausage, Egg & Cheese on a Muffin
Turkey Sausages Egg White & Cheese Whole Grain Bagel

Joseph Campione

Authentic Hearth Baked Garlic Bread
Bread Sticks, Garlic
Cheese Stuffed Bread Sticks
Dinner Rolls, Parmesan Garlic
Garlic Bread, Authentic Hearth Baked
Garlic Mini Loaf
Texas Toast, 5 Cheese
Texas Toast, Garlic
Texas Toast, Parmesan

Key Food

Seeded Rye European Hearth Bread, Deli Style
Seedless Rye European Hearth Bread, Deli Style

Kid Cuisine

KC's Campfire Hot Dog


White Enriched Bread
White Hamburger Enriched Buns

L'oven Fresh

Split Top Wheat Bread


Hot Dog Buns Enriched
White Enriched Sandwich Bread


Healthy Life Wheat Hot Dog Buns
Whole Wheat Sandwich Buns

Liberty Hearth

New York Deli Kaiser Rolls, Poppy

Little Debbie

Cheese Danish Classic Pastry
Cinnamon Rolls with Icing
Cream Cheese Danish Pastry
Danish Pastry, Cherry Cheese
Honey Buns


Stromboli, Philly Style Steak & Cheese


Pumpernickel Bread


100% Whole Wheat Bread
Asiago Cheese Focaccia
Bell Pepper Focaccia Muffins
Butterflake Rolls
Cheese Pizza Bread
Chefs Collection Italian Focaccia Half
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Club Rolls
Egg And Onion Brat Bun
Egg Dinner Rolls
English Muffin Bread
Fresh Tomato Focaccia
Garlic Bread
Ham Swiss Sub
Hamburger Buns
Hard Rolls
Hot Dog Buns
Italian Bread
Italian Specialty Bread By The Pound
Jalapeño Cheddar Focaccia
Jalapeño Cheddar Focaccia Muffins
Kaiser Rolls
Large Kaiser Rolls
Marble Rye Bread
Olive and Parmesan Chop Block Bread
Onion Rye Specialty Bread
Paisano Italiano Sandwich
Parisian Chocolate Croissant
Roast Beef & Cheddar Croissant
Rotisserie Chicken Salad Croissant
Rye Specialty Bread By The Pound
Salami and Provolone Chop Block Bread
Tomato Basil Chop Block Bread
Walnut Raisin Specialty Bread
Wheat Bread
Wheat Club Rolls
Wheat Dinner Rolls
Wheat Hamburger Buns
Wheat Hot Dog Buns
White Bread
Whole Wheat Specialty Bread

Marie Callender's

Flaky Croissant with Ham & Swiss
Flaky Croissant with Sausage, Egg & Monterey Jack
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Market Street

Butterflake Rolls


Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Potato Bread
Hoagie Rolls, Unseeded
Long Roll, Potato Rolls
Potato Bread, 100% Whole Wheat
Potato Bread, Sandwich
Potato Rolls
Potatobred Soft Cubed Stuffing


Large Rolls


Hamburger Enriched Buns
Hot Dog Enriched Buns


Cheese Danish with Icing
Cinnamon Rolls

Mediterranean Pita


Met Foodmarkets

Giant White Enriched Bread
Hamburgers Enriched Buns
Hot Dogs Enriched Buns


Giant Enriched White Bread
Split Top Wheat Bread

Mrs Baird's

Pastry Kitchen Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Rolls, Cherry
Cinnamon Rolls, Original

Mrs. Cubbison's

Butter & Garlic Croutons
Corn Bread Stuffing, Seasoned
Seasoned Croutons

Mrs. Freshley's

Honey Buns


French Toast Bites, Cinnamon Blast

Nature's Own

100% Whole Grain
100% Whole Wheat Bread
100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rolls
100% Whole Wheat Thin Sliced Bagels
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
Double Fiber Wheat Bread
Honey Wheat Bread
Hot Dog Rolls
Sandwich Rounds, Multi-Grain
Thin Sliced Bagels, Plain
White Wheat Bread
Whole Grain Bread

New York

Bread Sticks with Real Garlic
Hand-Tied Garlic Knots with Real Garlic
Texas Toast, 5 Cheese
Texas Toast, Garlic

New York Deli

Kaiser Rolls, Plain
Kaiser Rolls, Sesame

Old Style

Cottage Potato Bread

One Republic

Skinny Buns


Raisin Cinnamon Bread


100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rolls
French Bread
Italian Bread
Mini Heros
Panino Italiano
Sliced Italina Bread


Honey Buns


Blueberry Perogies Peroguis Aux Bleuets
Mushrooms Champigons
Perogies, Cherry
Perogies, Potato with Cheddar Cheese
Perogies, Potato with Cottage Cheese
Perogies, Potato with Spinach & Feta
Perogies, Sauerkraut
Perogies, Sauerkraut Mushrooms
Perogies, Sweet Cottage Cheese


Artisan Dinner Rolls
Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain
Breadsticks, Original
Crusty French Loaf
Italian Bread
Pizza Crust, Thin Crust
Toaster Scrambles, Cheese Sauce, Egg & Bacon
Toaster Scrambles, Cheese Sauce, Egg & Sausage
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Apple
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Apple Cream Danish
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Blueberry
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Boston Cream Pie
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Cinnamon with Brown Sugar
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Cream Cheese & Strawberry
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Danish Style Cream Cheese
Toaster Strudel Pastries, Strawberry

Potmann's Select

Seasoned Croutons


Thin Sliced White Bread

Raybern's New York Deli Style

Raybern's New York Deli Style Philly Cheesesteak
Roast Beef Cheddar Melt


Cinnamon Rolls, Cream Cheese Frosting

Roman Meal

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Rosa Bianca

Garlic Bread


Sweet Hawaiian Rolls


100% Whole Wheat Bread
Blueberry Bagels
Bratwurst Enriched Buns, Sliced
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bagel
Croissant Sandwiches
Croutons, Cheese & Garlic
Croutons, Seasoned
Deli Rye Bread, Seedless
Enriched Hot Dog Buns
Everything Bagels
French Bread
Garlic Bread, Original
Garlic Bread, Parmesan
Hamburger Enriched Buns
Italian Sausage Tortelloni
Meat & Fine Herbs Ravioli
Muffin Sandwiches, Ham Egg And Cheese
Muffin Sandwiches, Sausage, Egg & Cheese
Plain Bagels
Presliced Everything Bagels
Quarter Pound Chicken Sandwich
Select 9 Grain Bread
Texas Toast, Garlic
Texas Toast, Three Cheese
Wheat Bread, Split Top
Wheat Muffin Sandwiches, Turkey Sausage, Egg White & Cheese
White Enriched Bread
White Enriched Sandwich Bread


Black Bavarian Rye Bread
Bohemian Style Rye Bread
Brat & Sausage Rolls
Enriched Hot Dog Buns
French Rolls, Italian Beef Rolls
Hawaiian Bread, Pineapple
Kaiser Buns
Marble Rye Swirled
Multi Grain Bread
Rye Bread
Rye Bread, Caraway Seeds
Rye Bread, Unseeded
Wheat with Oat Bran Buns


Cornbread Stuffing Mix
Five Cheese Garlic Toast

Sara Lee

Blueberry Crumble Breakfast Bread
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Breakfast Bread
Center Split Deli Rolls, White
Cinnamon Breakfast Bread with Raisins
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Cinnamon Rolls
Classic Dinner Rolls
Deluxe Bagels, Blueberry
Deluxe Bagels, Cinnamon Raisin
Deluxe Bagels, Plain
Hearty & Delicious 100% Whole Wheat Deli Rolls
Hearty & Delicious Center Split Deli Rolls, White
Honey Wheat Bread
Soft & Smooth 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Soft & Smooth 100% Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns
Soft & Smooth Hamburger Buns, White
Soft & Smooth Hot Dog Buns, White
Soft & Smooth Wheat Hamburger Buns
White Bread


Enriched Bread
Enriched Hamburger Rolls, Sliced
Rye Bread
Wheat Rolls
Whole Grain White Bread

Select Signatures

Spicy Chicken Sliders


Bangles Whole Wheat
Cinnamon Bread
Country White Bread
Enriched Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Enriched Honey Wheat Bread
Enriched Light Hot Dog Rolls
Enriched Light Wheat Bread
Enriched Round Top White Bread
Garlic Bread Sticks
Garlic Dinner Rolls
Hot Dog Rolls
Italian Bread
Onion Bagels
Poppy Bagels
Potato Hamburger Rolls
Premium Bread
Premium Bread with 100% Stone Ground Wheat
Sandwich White Bread
Sesame Bagels
Sliced Hearth Baked Plain Bagels
Split Top White Bread
Swirl Rye Bread
Texas Toast Garlic
Wheat Bread


Premium Challah Bread Mix


Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly Sandwich
Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Grape Spread Sandwich, Reduced Sugar
Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Rasperry Spread Sandwich
Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam Sandwich
Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Strawberry Spread Sandwich, Reduced Sugar


Iced Honey Buns


Split Top Wheat Bread
White Bread


Raisin Bread, Cinnamon Swirl


Enriched Buns
Grill'n Griddle Bread
Hot Dog Buns
Large, Enriched Bread
Texas Toast Enriched Bread, Thick Sliced

Super Bread

Giant White Enriched Bread
Hamburger Enriched Buns
Honey Wheat Bread
Hot Dog Enriched Buns
Raisin Bread


Glazed Honey Buns
Honey Bun
Iced Honey Buns

The Bakery at Walmart

Glazed Yeast Donuts
Jumbo Croissant

Toufayan Bakeries

Bagels Blueberry
Cinnamon Raisin
Everything Bagels
Mini Bagels, Cinnamon Raisin
Mini Bagels, Plain
Pre-Sliced Bagels, Whole Wheat
Pre-Sliced Mini Bagels, Whole Wheat


Brat & Sausage Rolls
Extra Long French Bread
French Rolls
Gourmet Sandwich Rolls
Italian Bread
Kaiser Rolls
Old Fashioned Italian Bread
Soft Sub Rolls
Wheat French Rolls
Wheat Rolls

Tuscan Garden

Caesar Gourmet Restaurant Style Croutons


Mini Chicken Sandwiches
Mini Chicken Sandwiches with Cheddar Cheese
Mini Grilled Chicken Sandwiches


Puff Pastry Shells


Carrot Cakes

Valu Time

Wheat Bread White Enriched Bread

Van De Kamp's

Enriched Hot Dog Buns Sliced

Village Hearth

100% Whole Wheat Bread
Cottage Bread, Wheat
Honey Wheat Bread
Light 12 Grain Bread
Light Italian Bread
Light Wheat Bread
White Brat Buns

Weight Watchers Smart Ones

English Muffin Sandwich, Canadian Style Bacon
English Muffin Sandwich, Egg Whites & Cheese
Homestyle Turkey Breast with Stuffing

White Castle

Microwavable Hamburgers

White Rose

Stuffing Mix


Light Wheat Bread
Potato Hot Dog Buns
Texas Toast Bread

Source: Data provided by FoodEssentials as of 2/27/2014.

* Disclaimer. The conclusions and findings that appear on this page reflect EWG's research at the time of publication stated above. In light of evolving market conditions, subsequent product reformulations, and other factors, they may no longer be current. EWG makes no representations or warranties about any of the products that may appear on this page. EWG hereby disclaims all warranties with regard to any of the products that may appear on this page, including express, statutory, implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular use.

List Copyright © Environmental Working Group, Reproduced with permission.