10 Thing that are Wrong with Wendy’s Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich

Wendy's Pretzel Pub ChickenYou’ve probably seen the commercials. Wendy’s has unleashed a new product on to the masses: a Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich with the following features: “Lightly breaded chicken”, “warm pretzel bun”, and “melted cheddar sauce”. Wendy’s also boasts some impressive nutrition numbers: 650 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 35 grams of protein.

Sounds and looks so good. Maybe, until you take a look at the whole picture. Count off the ten oopsies in our review below:

Let’s kick off with the ridiculously high amount of sodium (salt) in this creation, 1450 milligrams [1]. That’s 60% of the recommended daily allowance. If you are over 45, or have high blood pressure, it’s pretty much your entire daily allowance! To bring this number to life – The Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich has more sodium than 8 bags of Lay’s potato chips!

On to the ingredient list, or shall we call it the ingredient lists (plural)?

Pretzel bun: Enriched Wheat Flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrite, riboflavin, folic acid), Water, Palm Oil, Sugar, Nonfat Dry Milk, Yeast, Salt, Dough Extender (wheat flour, monoglycerides, guar gum, corn syrup solids, contains 2% or less of: enzyme, soybean oil), Dough Conditioner (wheat flour, DATEM, contains 2% or less of: soybean oil, l-cysteine, enzyme, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide [ADA]), Calcium Propionate. CONTAINS: WHEAT, MILK.

Don’t you just love yourself some monoglycerides [2] with DATEM [3] and azodicarbonamide [4]?

Homestyle Chicken Fillet: Chicken Breast, Water, Seasoning (salt, autolyzed yeast extract, sugar, flavor, chicken, maltodextrin, gum arabic, silicon dioxide, lactic acid, sunflower oil, canola oil, dextrose, grill flavor [from canola oil], citric acid), Modified Potato Starch, Sodium Phosphates.

Breaded With: Wheat Flour, Water, Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor, Lactic Acid, Extractives of Turmeric.

Cooked in Vegetable Oil (soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, citric acid [preservative], dimethylpolysiloxane [anti-foaming agent]). Cooked in the same oil as menu items that contain Egg and Fish (where available). CONTAINS: WHEAT.

Did you ever wonder how water [5] could be the second ingredient in a chicken product that’s not soup or stew? Reading the rest of the ingredient list you can see that a whole bunch of emulsifiers, bulking agents and thickeners are utilized to make sure the chicken is “juicy”.  You’ll also be happy to know that the breading comes with MSG (autolyzed yeast extract [6] ), and that the chicken/breading goop is deep fried (not “cooked”) in hydrogenated oil [7].

Smoky Honey Mustard: Soybean Oil, Dijon Mustard (water, vinegar, mustard seed, salt, white wine, fruit pectin, citric acid, tartaric acid, sugar, spice), Water, Sugar, Honey, Tomato Paste, Brown Sugar, Cider Vinegar, Egg Yolk, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Natural Flavors (including smoke flavor), Mustard Seed, Garlic (dehydrated), Xanthan Gum, Onion (dehydrated), Molasses, Corn Syrup, Spices, Caramel Color, Tamarind, Soy Lecithin. CONTAINS: EGG, SOY.

Even the mustard here had to come with excess baggage. Why in the world does a mustard need any oil in it [8] ? And as a first ingredient? What gives, folks? All you need is some water, vinegar, mustard seeds, honey, salt and spices. Seriously. Oh yeah, the honey in the list comes after sugar.

We can’t complain about the next 3 ingredients:

Meunster Cheese: Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto (vegetable color). CONTAINS: MILK.


Spring Mix: Baby Lettuces (red & green Romaine, red & green oak, red & green leaf, lolla Rosa, tango), Spinach, Mizuna Arugula, Tatsoi, Red Chard, Green Chard.

Cheddar Cheese Sauce: Water, Pasteurized Process Cheddar Cheese (cheddar cheese [pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes], water, sodium phosphate, milkfat, salt, apocarotenal [color]), Cream Cheese Spread (pasteurized milk & cream, cheese culture, salt, carob bean gum), Milk Ingredients, Cornstarch, Soybean Oil, Cheddar Cheese Blend (cheddar, semi-soft and blue cheese [pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt and enzymes], water, sodium phosphate, vinegar, salt), Sea Salt, Disodium Phosphate, Annatto Color. CONTAINS: MILK.

Behold the cheese sauce – instead of simply melting cheddar cheese (cultured milk, salt, and rennet), we’ve got a whole cacophony of additives [9] here.

To top everything off, the sandwich comes with half a gram of added trans-fats [10], just for good measure.

The only good thing we can say about this product is that it’s a Limited Time offering.

  • http://www.nutritiontofruition.com/ Samantha Scruggs

    I love these in-depth analyses of these horrid fast food products! Staying away from fast food is always a good idea! One thing you didn’t mention which I’d like to add is the numerous phosphate additives in almost every part of that sandwich. Phosphate additives are not only linked to heart disease in people with kidney failure, but a recent study showed that they are linked to heart disease in the general population as well! There are also recent reports that many of the young teens who drank diet coke, loaded with phosphoric acid, are now suffering from bone disease at a young age. STAY away!

  • Simoné Cameron

    Thank you for sharing! So many people are not aware of all the additives when it comes to fast foods. I thought Wendy’s slogan was “You know when it’s real”. This burger is not even close to real food…

  • Ashleigh Sorensen

    Thank you for helping make healthy choices easier. I would like to see what you find are the best fast tood options when you’re in a real hurry… or better yet, post some ideas for quick & easy options to prepare at home. Sometimes these blogs get to be a little too negative

  • MarkLatham

    …and how about L-Cystine in the bun? Anyone for eating a derivitive of human hair from beauty shops in China or hog’s hair boiled down and acidified? YUK! That stuff ought to be made illegal in the USA. I give bakeries hell when I walk in and ask them about using that dough relaxer. McDonalds and others don’t use it without any issues… why does Wendy’s have to?

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      That too. Thanks

  • http://white-men-welcome.com/ Charlie Galatas

    Wendy’s commercials are also not super-inclusive of white men. We grade them C-. Burger King is better.

  • patty

    Not to mention the use of palm oil in the bun.