by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director
August 5, 2011 – The VRG noticed for the first time in May 2011 that the United States Product Ingredients Statement on Subway’s website indicated that the Flatbread, Italian White Bread, Hearty Italian Bread, Roasted Garlic Bread, and the Nine-Grain Wheat Bread contained vitamin D3. We asked Subway what the source of their vitamin D3 was. Typically vitamin D3 is derived from lanolin (coating on sheep’s wool).
We were informed in May 2011 that the vitamin D3 source was “in transition.” In July 2011, we received word from a senior staff member at Subway that Subway restaurants would carry Flatbread, Italian White Bread, Hearty Italian Bread, Roasted Garlic Bread, and Nine-Grain Wheat Bread containing vitamin D2 “at all locations in a few weeks.” Vitamin D2 is derived from a fungal source.
As of this writing, the Subway website still lists vitamin D3 for these breads. Readers should note the disclaimer at the top of the Ingredients Statement which states that “Every effort is made to keep this information current. However it is possible that ingredient changes and substitutions may occur before this list is updated.”
Although in May 2011, according to its website, Subway’s Flatbread contained L-cysteine, (often derived from human hair or duck feathers), we were informed later in May 2011 that “L-cysteine is no longer in the Flatbread.” It has since been removed from the website Ingredient Statement. Subway patrons may note that the Flatbread contains a milk product.
All other ingredients in the Italian White Bread, Hearty Italian Bread, and Roasted Garlic Bread, are “plant-derived” including several ingredients which, in other food items, are sometimes derived from animal products. In the Italian White Bread, Hearty Italian Bread, and Roasted Garlic Bread, these ingredients include mono- and diglycerides, amylase, and sodium stearoyl lactylate.
Although vegetable-derived sodium stearoyl lactylate and natural flavor are in the Nine-Grain Wheat Bread, this bread contains honey.
Interested readers may also like to know that the mono- and diglycerides in the Wrap and the Sourdough Bread at Subway are all-vegetable. The sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate and amylase in the Sourdough Bread are also vegetable-derived. The Light Wheat English Muffin is all-vegetable.
Besides the all-vegetable Subway bread products described here, all other Subway breads contain milk products or honey. To summarize:
All-Plant Derived Subway Bread Products
Italian White Bread
Hearty Italian White Bread
Light Wheat English Muffin
Roasted Garlic Bread