Sub­way to drop all ar­ti­fi­cial in­gre­di­ents

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By Sa­man­tha Ma­sunaga sa­man­tha.ma­sunaga@la­times.com Twit­ter: @sma­sunaga

Sub­way is putting a new spin on its “Eat Fresh” motto, say­ing it will re­move all ar­ti­fi­cial f la­vors, colors and preser­va­tives from its North Amer­i­can menu by 2017.

The Mil­ford, Conn., com­pany an­nounced the changes Thurs­day, adding the sand­wich pur­veyor to a grow­ing list of fast-food eater­ies and other com­pa­nies that have sworn off ar­ti­fi­cial in­gre­di­ents in hopes of at­tract­ing more health-con­scious cus­tomers.

Just last week, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut said they would use nat­u­ral al­ter­na­tives, such as real black pep­per in­stead of syn­thetic in­gre­di­ents.

El­iz­a­beth Ste­wart, direc­tor of cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, said the com­pany will be chang­ing the recipes for all its prod­ucts, and has al­ready re­moved some ar­ti­fi­cial in­gre­di­ents, such as the caramel col­or­ing in its nine-grain bread and roast beef.

An­other ex­am­ple is the ba­nana pep­pers, which will be colored with turmeric in­stead of Yel­low No. 5 to “give it a more nat­u­ral look,” Ste­wart said.

Sub­way has tried to tout its sand­wiches as a more health­ful al­ter­na­tive to ham­burg­ers, en­list­ing ath­letes such as swim­mer Michael Phelps and gym­nast Nas­tia Liukin to ap­pear in com­mer­cials over the years.

The chain came un­der fire last year when Food Babe blog­ger Vani Hari pe­ti­tioned the com­pany to re­move azodi­car­bonamide, an in­gre­di­ent used as a bleach­ing agent and dough con­di­tioner, from its breads. Azodi­car­bonamide is also used to make yoga mats. Sub­way said it phased out the in­gre­di­ent in April.

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