Panera Bread Co. on May 5 released a lengthy list of ingredients that will be removed from or will never appear in its menu items, claiming to be the first national restaurant chain to do so. The company also revealed its own clean-label salad dressings.
More than 150 ingredients made the dubious distinction, foremost among them high-fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils and every major non-nutritive sweetener except stevia and monk fruit. Generally, the list bans artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives.
“Last year we unveiled our Food Policy to hold ourselves accountable to long held values and set the future vision for our menu," said founder and CEO Ron Shaich. "The No No List is the latest step on our journey to clean food and a transparent menu.”
The entire list is:
Acesulfame K (Acesulfame Potassium)
Alum (Aluminum Ammonium Sulfate/Aluminium Potassium Sulfate)
Aluminum Calcium Silicate/Bentonite (Calcium Aluminosilicate, Calcium Silicoaluminate, Sodium Calcium Silicoaluminate)
Artificial Colors (Synthetic and Certified FD&C)
Autolyzed Yeast Extract
Benzyl Alcohol/Benzoyl Peroxide(Synthetic only)
BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
Brominated Vegetable Oil
Caffeine (Added, not naturally occurring)
Caramel Color (Classes II-IV)
DATEM(Diacetyl Tartaric Acid)
Disodium Guanylate (GMP)
EDTA (Calcium Disodium EDTA/Disodium Dihydrogen EDTA)
Esters of Fatty Acids
Fat Substitutes (Sucrose Polyester, Microparticulated Whey Protein Concentrate)
Glycerides(Mono & Diglycerides, all forms)
Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Hydrolyzed Soy or Corn Protein
Monosodium Glutamate/Sodium Glutamate (Added MSG, not naturally occuring)
Nitrates/Nitrites (Added, not naturally occuring)
Partially Hydrogenated Oils/Artificial Trans Fat
Proprionates (Calcium, Sodium)
Propylene Glycol Alginate
Saccharin (Calcium Saccharin)
Silicones/Siloxanes (Methyl Silicon, Dimethylpolysiloxane)
Artificial Smoke Flavor
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Phosphate/Trisodium Phosphate
Sulfites (Added, not naturaly occurring)
Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)
Theobromine(Added, not naturally occurring)
Or see the entire list at: https://www.panerabread.com/content/dam/panerabread/documents/panera-no-no-list-05-2015.pdf.
“We are not scientists. We are people who know and love food, and who believe that the journey to better food starts with simpler ingredients," Shaich continued. "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."
He said Panera has eliminated or intends to remove them from its U.S. Panera Bread and St. Louis Bread Co. bakery-cafe food menus by the end of 2016.
For more than a year, Panera’s culinary team has been working alongside trusted suppliers to “un-engineer” its food menu, removing the artificial additives that have become prevalent across the industry’s supply chain, the company said. The project has meant ongoing recipe development and testing – from finding replacements for artificial colors in pastries to removing commonly used artificial preservatives in soups. All of this work has been done with the standard of maintaining or improving taste.
Beginning May 5, Panera bakery-cafes nationwide will offer new “clean” salad dressings that are made without artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and preservatives.
“Dressings have been one of the most complex projects given the number of artificial additives – namely flavors and preservatives—conventionally used for taste and consistency,” said Dan Kish, Panera Bread’s head chef. “We’re proud to be offering bakery-cafe salad dressings without artificial additives. We believe they also taste better than ever.”
To date, approximately 85 percent of the products on Panera’s bakery-cafe food menu are in test or have rolled out nationally without these artificial additives. Reworked items will continue to roll out steadily in advance of Panera’s 2016 deadline.