The Growing Market Need for Titanium Dioxide Alternatives
Decline in Titanium Dioxide Usage Motivates Need for Market Alternatives
White is a critical color to the aesthetics of so many food and beverage products, from confections to soups to meat analogues to pet food to coatings. It was once the most widely used natural color across the landscape, especially with the strong color performance of TiO2 at very low usage rates. However, scrutiny and pushback from consumer advocacy groups and regulatory bodies across the globe continues to create uncertainty and controversy over the acceptance of titanium dioxide, so much that the once star color has seen a significant decline in usage over the past decade.
The official enactment of France’s ban on titanium dioxide beginning January 1, 2020, heightened the global conversation in the food and beverage industry and spurred manufacturers/developers worldwide to seek out clean-label alternatives. In 2021, the European Commission published new regulations taking effect in the first half of 2022 following the surprise announcement by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) titanium dioxide could not be concretely established as safe for consumption. The updated European regulations mandate the removal of titanium dioxide entirely from food, beverage, and pet products sold or manufactured in the EU.
Sensient’s global Avalanche™ portfolio was developed to address this market need:
Avalanche™ is the industry’s leading portfolio of titanium dioxide alternatives. Designed to best match the performance of TiO2 while addressing clean ingredient trends, the portfolio consists of whitening and opacifying solutions for a wide breadth of applications, and we are constantly innovating to improve the performance and cost-in-use for developers.
The Avalanche™ portfolio is developed for both whitening and opacity, just like the performance of titanium dioxide.
Addressing the Challenges Associated with Replacing Titanium Dioxide
Titanium dioxide has a few key advantages over many alternatives that can present challenges for replacement opportunities, but high-performing alternative portfolios like Avalanche™ help developers and manufacturers to close the gap on key technical challenges:
TiO2 is extremely stable and permissible in all applications. With its mineral genetic makeup, titanium dioxide positively resists moisture hold in applications, resulting in smooth surface coverage.
Today’s market alternatives are not permitted across a wide range of applications like titanium dioxide and stability varies from product to product. Some replacement options, such as rice starch, retain moisture and prevent effective drying, which can have a negative mottled impact on product surfaces.
To address performance and regulatory variance, Avalanche™ was designed as a portfolio of solutions versus a one-size fits all approach. Sensient’s color experts can identify the best Avalanche™ option that best fits your application’s processing conditions and regulatory adherence. For example, in panned confections calcium carbonate is permitted, but in soups it is not.
Our R&D team has developed Avalanche™ Xtra MB, an optimized calcium carbonate-based solution that doesn’t retain moisture for boosted performance in confection applications like panning where a smooth and consistent surface coverage is critical to a color’s success. However, for soups, we would recommend one of our Avalanche™ Ultra products.
As a mineral, TiO2 is extremely cost-effective compared to many botanical alternatives.
Common market alternatives like rice starch and calcium carbonate require extremely high usage rates compared to titanium dioxide which not only impact the cost of the final formula but most often negatively affect the texture of an application. Rice starch may thicken a formulation undesirably, resulting in an adverse effect in viscosity.
The products in the Avalanche™ portfolio are designed to perform and function differently across applications making price points vary, but our R&D team is constantly working to lower cost-in-use and reduce negative mouthfeel effects due to higher usage rates compared to titanium dioxide. The team has made excellent strides in the Avalanche™ Xtra solutions.
Tips for Success with Sensient’s Avalanche™ Portfolio
Don’t be discouraged by negative experiences with other alternatives! Avalanche™ isn’t like other titanium replacers, and we’ve seen success in formulas and processing that proved incompatible with other whitening solutions.
Avalanche™ is a portfolio, rather than a single “golden ticket” product, which has enabled us to create optimized solutions for various applications and processing conditions. If one Avalanche™ product didn’t work for you, another option might!
Avalanche™ is very clean-label but regional permissibility of some ingredients may vary. Sensient’s regulatory team can help provide guidance on how to label it in your market.
Our team of technical experts can give personalized guidance on successful implementation of Avalanche solutions to ensure minimum impact on your process and guide you through the formulation, testing, and scale-up process.
Avalanche™ is higher stability than individual components available such as rice starch. It’s engineered for success.
Avalanche™ is ever-evolving. We are continuously making improvements on cost and functionality, so even if you’ve tried it before, reach out again to see our latest solutions!
My colleagues and I have written more in-depth articles on titanium dioxide replacement across specific categories. Learn more here:
Even if you’ve tried Avalanche™ before, don’t think you’ve seen it all! We are constantly evolving and improving our global portfolio. If you’re ready to jump into solutions, request a sample, and our technical experts will send you the optimal Avalanche product for your application.
Questions? Feel free to reach out to schedule a consultation! We understand replacing titanium dioxide can be extremely challenging and we are here to help.