Many food companies have opted for menus that offer foods with lower calories, lower-fat, and no additives. Panera bread is now one of them. Seemingly healthy fast-food, most of its current ingredients are laden with preservatives and artificial flavors. But the company released a statement Tuesday saying that it would remove all artificial additives from its bakery-cafe food menu by 2016.

This news comes a little less than two months after the fast-food chain Subway announced it would be removing azodicarbonamide from its breads — a chemical additive found in yoga mats and sneakers.

“Panera was founded on the belief that quick food could be quality food,” said Ron Shaich, Panera founder, chairman, and CEO, in the statement, adding:

We started by baking bread from fresh dough each day in our cafes. That commitment led to others — like our early decision to remove artificial trans-fats, post calories on menu boards and invest in serving chicken raised without antibiotics. As we continue to make conscious choices about the food we source and serve, we realized it’s also important to share what we’ve accomplished and where we’re going.

The current food additives include: potassium lactate, sodium phosphate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite and sodium diacetate (in deli-smoked turkey); caramel color (in roast beef); and tapioca dextrin, modified corn starch, autolyzed yeast extract — another name for MSG — maltodextrin, coconut oil derived from triglycerides, and artificial flavors (in summer corn chowder).

“I do think it is a radical push, but I think it’s a push by millennia’s,” Melissa Rifkin, registered dietician at Montefiore Medical Center, told Medical Daily.

Rifkin also points out that these changes should have been done a long time ago. “I think it’s necessary. I think the fast-food chains should jump on the bus because if they don’t they’re not going to get business,” she said. “All of these additives and preservatives lead to disease, cancer, and weight gain. This is what should have happened a long time ago.”

Panera points out that it has been making a push for healthier foods before many other restaurant chains. "Panera's forward-looking policy on antibiotics has made it an industry leader," said Erik Olson, senior strategic director for Health and Food for the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The company has been purchasing chicken raised without antibiotics for more than a decade — and over the years expanded to roasted turkey, ham, and sausage. We support their newest commitment to remove artificial additives. We look forward to working with them to ensure all their ingredients are essential and safe."