EFSA Finds Titanium Dioxide is Not Safe for Food
Upon request by the European Commission last year, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has now updated its 2016 safety assessment of the food additive titanium dioxide (TiO2, E171). On May 6, 2021, EFSA concluded that E171 can no longer be considered safe as a food additive.
EFSA comments on this conclusion here: “After conducting a review of all the relevant available scientific evidence, EFSA concluded that a concern for genotoxicity of TiO2 particles cannot be ruled out. Based on this concern, EFSA’s experts no longer consider titanium dioxide safe when used as a food additive. This means that an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) cannot be established for E171.” In terms of next steps, EFSAs scientific opinion will be taken into consideration by risk managers consisting of the European Commission and Member States to inform decisions on possible regulatory actions.
Titanium dioxide is used as a color (E171) to whiten or opacify food and drink products, such as confectionery, fine bakery wares, desserts, soups and sauces. The demand for alternatives to titanium dioxide has grown consistently over the years, especially since the inconclusive re-evaluation opinion published by EFSA in 2016. Combined with the overall push to “naturalness”, this has inspired product renovation across many consumer packaged food companies.
Replacing titanium dioxide in food and drink is an application-specific task. Sensient has a full global suite of titanium dioxide alternatives named Avalanche™. Sensient’s Avalanche™ portfolio is designed to best match the performance of titanium dioxide, to address clean ingredient needs, and to make product innovation easy for brands. As Sensient has already been working on replacing titanium dioxide in food and beverage applications for more than a decade, we are consistently complementing existing solutions with whitening effects with innovative new solutions. Find out more about our Avalanche range here.
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