Panera Bread E-mail

Received: 04/27/11

The following is the e-mail response from Panera Bread when asked which of their menu items are vegan:

Thank you for contacting Panera Bread. Although vegetarian soups and sandwiches are noted on our menu, we do not keep a separate list of vegan products. However, you can find nutritional profiles and complete ingredients for our current menu items on our website.

On our homepage, choose Menu & Nutrition. For information on individual products or to build a meal, choose our Nutrition Calculator. With the calculator, you can substitute or delete some ingredients in a recipe, add other menu choices to your meal and see nutritional information for the complete meal. If you click on the “ingredients” link, complete ingredients for the item will be displayed. To clear a choice from your meal, simply check the “delete” box in the right-hand column.

If you prefer to browse our menu descriptions, select Our Bakery Menu or Our Cafe Menu. At the top of each menu page, there are links to categories for Hand Tossed Salads, Sandwiches, Bagels & Spreads, etc.. Choose a category and read through the product descriptions. If you see an item you’d like to know more about, click on it and you will be connected to the Nutrition Calculator where specific nutritional and ingredients information is available.

We also offer a downloadable nutrition guide for our menu that you can print out and use to compare nutrition statistics for different items. Information in the guide is based on our original recipes without substitution. You can find the link to the guide on every Menu and Nutrition page or visit to go there directly.

Menu items offered only in test markets or on a regional basis do not appear on the website. Please ask a manager for information at the bakery-cafe where the item is offered.

Thank you again for contacting us. We hope you will find this information useful.

Would you be able to tell me if the enzymes used in the making of Panera Bread’s breads are plant-based or animal derrived?

Although we do not have a vegan listing for our products, many of our breads and pastries do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. However, the mono & diglycerides in our breads are all vegetable-sourced, and our bread bases including the
natural base, country base and special blend are from microbial enzyme sources. The mono & diglycerides in our breads are all vegetable-sourced. Our cheeses, with the exception of Asiago, Feta, Vermont Cheddar and Gorgonzola processed with non-animal enzymes, so our Three Cheese Bread and any of our Asiago Breads would not be suggested for a vegan.

While we do not have a comprehensive list of non-animal enzymes, some of our Artisan breads might be a good choice for you, like our Country Loaf, made simply with: unbleached enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, whole wheat flour, salt, yeast.

Additionally, we have introduced a new bagel base made without additives such as azodicarbonamide or ammonium chloride commonly used in flour based dough. The base is also made without l-cysteine which is an animal-derived enzyme that has been a concern for our vegan customers and those following certain religious diets. The only exception is our Jalapeno Cheddar Bagel, which we hope to change in the future.

We do list all the ingredients of all our menu items on our website (and in notebooks in our bakery-cafes, which are available for viewing on request). If you have any further questions about a specific product or two, please let me know and we will check with our Nutrition Department.

Thank you again for contacting us. We appreciate your interest in our menu items.

Are ALL breads that include enzymes in the ingredients made from microbial enzymes?

You are quite welcome. Unfortunately, I don’t have a list of these items. You will need to check our nutrition calculator for the bread you are interested in. But, I can give you a quick method to help you check:

Because our current vendor states that the natural base, country base and special blend all contain microbial (non-animal) enzymes, if you see these listed in the nutritional ingredients, then the enzymes would also be non-animal at this time.

For example:

  • “White Whole Grain” lists natural base, so the enzymes would be microbial.
  • “Honey Wheat Loaf” lists both special blend and naural base, so the enzymes listed would both be mircrobial.
  • “Fociaccia” (plain) lists both country base and natural base, so these would also be microbial.
  • Please note that any breads with Asiago, including the “Asiago Focaccia,” contain cheese enzymes that are animal sourced.
  • Other breads like the “Stone-Milled Rye,” the “Sesame Semolina,” and the “Country Loaf” contain no enzymes at all.

Hope this information helps.

Do you know if the enzymes in the Bagel Base are also microbial?

The bagel base is non-animal.