Panera Bread to remove 150 artificial ingredients

Panera Bread to remove 150 artificial ingredients

Panera Bread is changing its ingredients for the better. A new list dubbed as the “No-No List” states the intentions of Panera Bread to remove 150 artificial ingredients by the end of 2016.

The restaurant wants to set a new standard for healthier foods for customers.

In an interview with Fortune, Ron Shaich, the CEO of Panera Bread explained that banning ingredients such as saccharin, aspartame, synthetic benzyl peroxide, and maltodextrin is what the customers desire. “Consumers are looking for alternatives that are less processed,” he said. “I would argue ‘clean’ tastes better, as well as it is better for you,” he added.

Panera will also start selling salads with dressings made without artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, and preservatives.

Panera is setting a high bar,” said Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at New York University. “These are all ingredients used in highly processed foods to make them look, taste, and hold together better — for the most part, cosmetics.”

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) also applauded Panera’s move.

Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, and other artificial food dyes shouldn’t be in the food supply in the first place, but I applaud Panera for getting rid of them,” said CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson. “It also makes sense for Panera to get rid of partially hydrogenated oils, butylated hydroxyanisole, and some of the other additives on the company’s new “No No” list.”

However, Jacobson did question Panera’s motives. “But just because something is artificial or its name is hard to pronounce doesn’t mean it’s unsafe. Some of the additives Panera is ditching are perfectly innocuous, such as calcium propionate or sodium lactate—so those moves are more about public relations than public health,” Jacobson adds.

Shaich says that the company’s new focus on the quality of ingredients is based on America’s new focus of food in relation to health and wellness.

We are increasingly focused on what is in our food and ridding ourselves of a lot of chemical additives,” Shaich said. “That isn’t going to go away. It is going to intensify, that discussion.”

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1. “The No No List.” Panera Bread. Panera Bread, 5 May 2015. Web. 5 May 2015.
2. “Panera to Drop 150 Ingredients From Its Menu.” Time. Time, 5 May 2015. Web. 05 May 2015.
3. “Panera CEO Says ‘no’ to Unacceptable ingredients.” Fortune. Fortune, 04 May 2015. Web. 05 May 2015.
4. “Panera Lists ‘unacceptable’ Ingredients in Its Foods.” USA Today. Gannett, 05 May 2015. Web. 05 May 2015.
5. “Panera Removes Dyes, Additives from Foods.” Center for Science in the Public Interest. Center for Science in the Public Interest, 5 May 2015. Web. 05 May 2015.

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