The Worst Ingredients in Commercial Bread

In todays modern world Bread has a bad reputation. But it wasnt always like that, for thousands of years bread was a staple food that the world relied upon every day.

And its true, Proper bread has the potential to meet up to 70% of our nutritional needs.

So what happened to modern bread?

Why is modern bread so toxic?

Modern bread bares little resemblance to ancient bread.

Commercial breads that line grocery store shelves and are served at restaurants are full of ingredients that are not food, like potassium bromate, azodicarbonamide( the yoga mat ingredient), other chemical dough conditioners, added sugars, artificial flavorings or coloring and GMOs. 

Did you know that flour can be treated with any of the 60 different chemicals approved by the FDA before it ends up on store shelves? 

And these chemical ingredients don't have to be listed on the package, bread manufacturers are not required to list ingredients that are added into the flour they buy. Meaning that chemicals are added into the flour, way before the baking process, making it impossible for consumers to know what the actual ingredients are.

Also, the industrial processing destroys nutrients, such as Vitamin E and fiber. 

These are some of the worst ingredients in Commercial Bread:

  • Modern GMO Wheat
  • Potassium Bromate.
  • Azodicarbonamide.
  • Partially Hydrogenated Oil.
  • Preservatives
  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

To learn more about the dangers of these ingredients and how to avoid them continue reading below.

the worst ingredients in commercial bread

The Worst Ingredients in Commercial Bread

Dough Conditioners in Modern Bread

Dough conditioners are used by bread manufacturers to lower costs in bread production. When looking for bread sources, avoid bread that is fluffy or spongy. Dough conditioners like azodicarbonamide and potassium bromate were probably added to the flour, to increase the dough volume. Keep in mind, ingredients added to flour, dont have to be included in bread ingredient labels.

Dough Conditioners have been associated with serious health concerns. Ingredients such as potassium bromates, azodicarbonamide, a substance banned worldwide, along with DATEM, monoglycerides, diglycerides, and sodium stearoyl lactylate have raised red flags due to potential health risks.

Keep in mind, bread manufacturers are not required to list ingredients that are added into the flour they buy. Meaning that chemicals are added into the flour, way before the baking process, making it impossible for consumers to know what they are actually eating.

Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is a dough conditioner that improves the strength and elasticity of bread dough, resulting in a better texture and rise. However, it comes with a dark side. Studies have shown that this additive can be converted into a carcinogenic substance during baking, posing a potential risk to human health.

In tests in lab animals, exposure to potassium bromate caused benign and malignant tumors in the thyroid and the gut lining.

Later research expanded these finding Ingesting resulted in increases in kidney cancer as well.

When its ingested, potassium bromate can cause damage to human DNA. when it enters the body it turns into oxidizing free radicals, which causes breaks in DNA strands, which can lead to cancer and other diseases.


Ever feel that you swallowed a brick after eating out? Do you Experience unexplainable bloating and chronic swollen belly? Azodicarbonamide, the yoga mat ingredient, is one of the most toxic ingredients in modern commercial breads and baked goods.

Arby's, Mcdonalds, Wendy's, Sara Lee and Starbucks' baked goods all contain this hazardous chemical.

In fact the majority of commercial breads and baked goods you're eating at restaurants contains this ingredient.

Azodicarbonamide is a cheap foaming agent commonly used in the creation of foamed plastics – like yoga mats, shoe soles, floor mats and window gaskets.

Most countries have banned the use of this chemical in food. In fact, the USA is one of the only first world countries allowing into the food supply.

When azodicarbonamide is heated, like it is during the baking process, trace amounts of semicarbazide and urethane are formed. These compounds are recognized carcinogens and semicarbazide was shown to cause tumors in humans. In fact studies show that it caused lung cancer in mice.

Side Effects of Azodicarbonamide:

  • 1. Gut Problems
  • It stands to reason that an ingredient that creates the foamy and rubbery texture of yoga mats and shoes would promote bloating gas and overall stomach distress when consumed.
  • 2. Azodicarbonamide Disrupts the Immune System
  • In 2001, lab tests found that direct exposure to azodicarbonamide inhibited human immune cell formation and function. This becomes an even bigger concern when azodicarbonamide is heated up, as when it's a bread ingredient…
  • 3. Harmful to Hormone Function
  • Exposure to semicarbazide can present another health risk. Animal studies have found it has a toxic impact on hormones and the hormone-regulating organs, including the thyroid, thymus, spleen, testes, ovaries, and uterus. As is the case with all endocrine disrupting compounds, this stuff is poison!

Genetically Modified Wheat

Most Commercial Bread is made with genetically modified modern wheat.  Modern GMO wheat or dwarf wheat is a hybrid genetically modified mix of many different types of grasses and wheat. Modern wheat was hybridized to such an extent that it's barely wheat, perhaps a distant relative.

Wheat was Hybridized on purpose in order to increase gluten content. More gluten means that bakers can use less flour, yet still get a big loaf.

To give an idea of how much wheat has changed look at the difference between modern wheat and ancient wheat like Einkorn:

  • Modern wheat has 42 chromosomes while ancient wheat like Einkorn wheat only has 14 chromosomes
  • High gluten content: Modern wheat has more gluten and a different type of gluten than ancient grains . The gluten in modern wheat is very inflammatory and triggers allergies.
  • Lower nutritional value: Modern wheat has much less nutritional value than ancient wheat. 

Due to the genetic modification, Modern wheat causes inflammation and allergies. Ancient wheats like Einkorn and Kamut actually have anti-inflammatory properties, that means that they reduce inflammation.

Also of serious concer is that all GMO crops are heavily sprayed with pesticides, so you can rest assured that you are getting a hefty dose of pesticide residue everytime you consume GMO wheat.

crap ingredients in commercial "bread"

Partially Hydrogenated Fats

Partially hydrogenated fats are used to make breads resistant to spoilage. During the baking process these oils convert into trans fats.

Trans fat increases the “bad” type of cholesterol and can damage arteries, increase inflammation, and potentially cause heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

If there are less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, companies can legally put 0 trans fat on the label – but this evil may still be lurking!

Preservatives in Bread

The addition of preservatives in bread, intended to prolong shelf life, is of particular concern. I've performed experiments. placing store bought commercial breads on my kitchen counter for months on end. The "bread" never rots. I waited half a year past its expiration date, to see if mold would appear, it didnt. If it doesn't rot, it's not food.

Preservatives conflict with the notion of bread being ideally fresh and consumed within a short period after baking. Preservatives such as Butylated Hydroxyanisole which has been linked to cancer, and calcium propionate, which has been linked to ADHD, serve as a warning sign for health-conscious consumers.

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) is used to prevent fat in bread from turning rancid.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the ingredient is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Meaning it causes cancer.

Nevertheless, it is still approved for use as a food additive by the FDA.

Vitamins E and C serve the same purpose as this ingredient and can be used instead.

Joseph's Organic Bakery : Ancient Grain Breads with Absolutely no additives

It's crucial for bread manufacturers to prioritize consumer health and safety by avoiding all dough conditioners like azodicarbonamide and potassium bromate.

At Joseph's Organic Bakery our bread is not puffy. Why? Because we dont add anything to the dough to help it rise.

Sometimes, customers ask why our loaves are small. They dont understand that the size of our loaves is exact proof that our bread is healthy. We dont use bromates , azodicarbonamide, dough risers or white flour, to expand volume. In fact, we use much more dough and more flour than other bakeries, which costs us more to produce each loaf, and still our breads are a quarter of the size of other commercial sourdough breads, because we dont add white flour or dough risers.

We dont add preservatives or added colors either. And, of course. no added partially hydrogenated fats.

To experience healthy ancient grain bread with absolutely no additives click here.

Our breads are made the ancient way with only 3 ingredients. Discover why our bread is helping thousands of customers improve their health by watching our amazing testimonials.

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