US bakery firm makes ingredients transparency pledge

08 May, 2015

An American bakery giant, Panera Bread, has pledged to simplify what goes into its goods by publishing a ‘No No List’.

The bakery, which has nearly 2,000 outlets throughout America, Columbia and Canada, has set a goal to remove all ingredients on the list from its products by 2016 by reformulating. The ingredients include artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners and preservatives.

The British Nutrition Foundation has coined this as a positive idea.

Helena Gibson-Moore, a nutrition scientist from the foundation, said: “People are becoming more aware of the links between diet, health and nutrition so being transparent about the ingredients in baked good is a good idea.

“All additives are thoroughly assessed for safety before they are allowed to be used in the UK and must be listed on the ingredients list of packaged goods. People may choose foods without additives as a matter of individual choice but what is more important for health is that people are eating wholegrain starchy foods as part of a healthy, balanced diet.”

‘Simplifying our pantry’

Ron Shaich, founder and chief executive officer, said: “We are people who know and love food, and who believe that the journey to better food starts with simpler ingredients. And to turn that belief into meaningful action, we consulted third-party scientists and experts to compile a list of common artificial additives that we are going to do without.

“Simplifying our pantry is essential to our vision, but it is not an end point. We want to be an ally for wellness for the millions of guests we serve each week. The No No List is the latest step on our journey to clean food and a transparent menu.”

Ingredients on the ‘No No List’ include autolysed yeast extract, high-fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, microparticulated whey protein concentrate and others. The full list can be seen by clicking here.

The company has estimated that 85% of the menu items reformulated without the ingredients on its list are in test or have been rolled out nationally already and say that reworked items will continue to be introduced in advance of the 2016 deadline.

In a controversial book by Joanna Blythman, named Swallow This, a number of bakeries in the UK were criticised for not making the ingredients in products readily available for customers, and for using certain ingredients., The book is part of Blythman’s fight for clean label manufacturing, which hit the headlines earlier this year.

Panera is the first national restaurant company in the US to publicly share a comprehensive list of ingredients that will be removed from or never appear in its menu items.





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