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Panera to drop 150 artificial ingredients from its menu

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Good news, Panera Bread will no longer put Tert-Butyl-Hydroquinone in your sandwich.

Panera said it’s the first national chain to publish a comprehensive list of artificial additives and preservatives that will be removed. The move affects 150 ingredients that the company uses.

“We are not scientists,” said Panera founder and CEO Ron Shaich. “We are people who know and love food, and who believe that the journey to better food starts with simpler ingredients.”

The shift comes as consumers have become more aware of the unnatural ingredients used by the fast-food industry and are seeking healthy alternatives.

Erik Olson, a health expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council, applauded Panera’s decision to “eliminate a wide array of chemical additives from its foods.”

“This is part of the company’s quest to address consumer demands and potential health concerns,” Olson said in a statement released by Panera.

Panera is doing away with common additives such as high fructose corn syrup and artificial trans fats. And it’s also dropping artificial colors and flavors, including chemical compounds like azodicarbonamide, methyl cellulose and potassium bromate.

Panera, which has 1,900 restaurants in the United States and Canada, said it has already started eliminating some of the ingredients.

The company also said it would offer new “clean” salad dressings made without artificial flavors or colors.