What is Azodimethamide (ADA)?
Azodimethamide is a chemical that has been approved for use as a whitening agent in cereal flours and as a dough conditioner in bread baking. Also named Azodicarbonamide, ADCA, ADA, azo(bis)methamide.
CAS number 123-77-3
EC number 204-650-8
Chemical formula C2H4N4O2
E number E927a
On what basis does the FDA approve the use of ADA?
The FDA approved the use of ADA as a food additive and dough improver in cereal flours based on a comprehensive review of safety studies.
What steps is FDA taking to continue to ensure the safe use of ADA in food?
The FDA continues to evaluate the safe use of ADA in food.
In 2016, the agency conducted a comprehensive exposure assessment of semicarbazide (SEM), a breakdown chemical formed from ADA during the bread-making process.
This assessment is based on
- The amount of SEM generated using ADA in the analysis of over 250 representative breads and bakery products,
- Data from two different sets of food consumption data:
- a) 2009-2012 combined data National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2-day dietary intake survey;
- b) 2007-2010 NPD Group, Inc. National Diet Trends-Nutrient Intake Database (NPD NET-NID) 10-14 day data.
Based on this information, the FDA developed SEM exposure estimates for the U.S. population 2 years of age and older and children 2 to 5 years of age. Children aged 2 to 5 years were chosen because they have the highest exposure to SEM based on body weight.
So what if studies show that the breakdown products of ADA (particularly semicarbazide) are carcinogens?
During the bread-making process, ADA breaks down completely to form other chemicals, one of which is SEM. At high levels, SEM was shown to increase tumor incidence when fed female mice, but not male mice or rats of either sex. These studies were conducted in rodents and their SEM levels far exceeded estimates of human exposure from consumption of ADA-treated flour or bread products.
Is the FDA recommending that consumers change their dietary habits?
Based on the science, the FDA does not recommend that consumers change their dietary habits due to exposure to ADA/SEM. The FDA considers ADA to be a safe food additive when used for the purposes and levels specified in FDA regulations.
How do I know if a bakery product contains ADA?
Like all ingredients intentionally added to food, ADA must be listed on the ingredient label. Consumers can identify whether ADA has been added by looking for "azodimethamide" on the label.
Do I need ADA to make bread?
unnecessary. The use of ADA as a whitener and dough improver is not required when making bread, and there are alternative ingredients approved for use.
Are there other uses for the ADA?
Yes, the ADA is also authorized for use as a foaming agent in sealing lids for food containers such as ketchup bottles.
In 2005, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the risks of using ADA as a blowing agent and concluded that, given the ADA content in food packaged in glass jars and bottles, the substance does not pose an impact on human health. However, the European Food Safety Authority also states that exposure to SEM should be limited as much as possible, and the use of ADA is prohibited in the EU.
Is Azodimethamide banned in Australia?
Azodimethamide (ADA) is a dough improver and flour bleaching agent that is widely used as a new flour fortifier in some countries. However, it is banned in Australia and Europe due to its toxicity and asthma risk to humans.
Is McDonald's still using azodimethamine?
McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, Wendy's, White Castle and Jack in the Box all used the chemical in their bread in 2014 but have since stopped using it entirely.