January 23, 2017 by
The VRG Blog Editor
By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
Subway’s US Product Ingredients Guide appears as a PDF link accessible from the right side of its Nutrition Information webpage: http://www.subway.com/en-us/menunutrition/nutrition
Based on this Product Ingredient Guide and confirmed information from Subway (see below for details), The VRG has developed this list:
Subway’s Vegan Bread Products
• Hearty Italian Bread
• Italian (White) Bread
• Roasted Garlic Bread
• Sourdough Bread
Please note that products and ingredients can change.
Lanette Kavachi, Corporate Dietitian at Subway, wrote to us in September 2016 that “The sugar used in the Italian, Roasted Garlic and Sourdough breads is NOT processed through cow bone char.” [VRG Note: All capitals in “not” are Lanette’s.]
Rye bread is also listed and appears to be vegan. Lanette informed us in January 2017 that “The rye bread is coming off the menu; we are just depleting inventory.” She did not provide any more information on it.
In a follow up email in which The VRG inquired whether Subway had received certificates from suppliers explicitly stating that “No cow bone char was used to process this sugar” Lanette told us that “We specifically asked our suppliers if sugar they used was processed through cow-bone char.”
We asked Lanette about the natural flavor in the Roasted Garlic Bread. We also asked if sorbitan monostearate, possibly made from animal-derived stearic acid, had been used by the manufacturer as an emulsifier in their bread yeast as it is by some other companies. Lastly we inquired if the yeast extract in some Subway breads was made with typically animal-derived L-cysteine as a reaction flavor. Her response to all of these questions was: “The Italian, Sourdough and Roasted Garlic Breads do not contain any animal-derived ingredients.”
Subway’s Wrap contains mono- and diglycerides as well as sugar. Lanette reported to us that “for the Wrap the sugar is not processed through cow bone char and the mono and di-glycerides are plant-derived.”
Subway’s Product Ingredients Guide for Sourdough Bread also lists “dextrose” (i.e, glucose, a simple sugar) as well as “sugar” as ingredients. We asked Lanette about dextrose’s source and processing method and she responded by saying: “The sourdough sugar is not processed through cow bone char.”
According to the second question on the Menu Nutrition FAQ page http://www.subway.com/en-us/menunutrition/menu/menunutritionfaqs
Q: What is the origin of the enzymes in the Italian…bread?
A: These ingredients are plant-derived.
Lanette also told us that “The enzymes in the Sourdough Bread…[are] plant-derived.”
The other breads at Subway are not vegan.
Subway breads containing honey:
• 9-Grain Wheat Bread
• Honey Oat Bread
Subway breads containing dairy:
• White Flatbread
• Multigrain Flatbread
• Italian Herbs & Cheese Bread
• Monterey Cheddar Bread
• Parmesan/Oregano Bread
Subway’s VegiMax Patty (the name as it appears on the US Products Ingredients Guide) contains egg whites and calcium caseinate (a milk derivative). Nutrition facts (e.g., calories, grams of fat, protein, etc.) about this product are found on the PDF titled Subway US Nutrition Information accessible from the right-hand menu listed on Subway’s Nutrition page after clicking on “Nutrition Data Tables”: http://www.subway.com/en-us/menunutrition/nutrition
In that PDF the VegiMax Patty (listed as “Veggie Patty”) appears under the sections titled “Limited Time Offer/Regional Subs” and “Individual Meats.”
Note: Nutrition facts about the VegiMax Patty are not located on Subway’s Nutrition webpage where an interactive Nutrition Facts data table is displayed.
As Lanette explained:
It is not on the webpage because it is a local product – we reserve the webpage for national items or optional items that are in most restaurants…The veggie patty nutrition information is located on the printer-friendly nutrition guide that is listed in the right margin of our nutrition page. It is a local/optional product and listed in that section of the PDF document. [VRG Note: There are other items especially condiments which may appear in one listing on Subway’s nutrition webpage but not in one of their PDF files or vice versa. Contact Subway if you have further questions about a particular menu item.]
The VRG noticed that The VegiMax Patty does not appear on the US Allergy and Sensitivity PDF (link also located in the right menu on Subway’s nutrition page) even though it contains two allergens: eggs and dairy. On that document a disclaimer at the top states that “This chart does not include regional or special promotional items as ingredients vary.” Interestingly, this same disclaimer appears on the US Product Ingredients PDF where the regional VegiMax Patty is listed.
Subway’s guacamole is vegan.
Black Bean Soup is offered at select Subway locations. We asked Lanette if the brown sugar in this soup as well as the sugar in its vegetarian flavor had been processed through cow bone char. She contacted her supplier on our behalf then replied to us: “I’ve just heard back from our soup supplier and the sugar in the black bean soup is not processed through cow bone char.”
The Buffalo Sauce contains “natural butter type flavor” which according to Lanette is “not animal-derived” making the Buffalo Sauce vegan. The Sweet Onion Sauce contains sugar. Lanette told us that “The sugar in the sweet onion sauce is not processed through cow bone char.” The Honey Mustard Sauce contains eggs as well as honey.
The Subway Vinaigrette contains sugar which “…is not processed through bone char.” All of the other dressings at Subway contain eggs, dairy and/or anchovies.
Subway offers a Veggie Delight® sandwich: http://www.subway.com/en-us/menunutrition/menu/product?ProductId=4267&MenuCategoryId=1
and Veggie Delight salad: http://www.subway.com/en-us/menunutrition/menu/product?ProductId=4388&MenuCategoryId=7
The contents of this posting, our website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.