16 Jul 2021
In the last few years, there has been a lot of controversy about titanium dioxide (TiO2), a naturally occurring oxide of titanium, sourced from minerals. It has a wide range of applications including paint, sunscreen, pharmaceutical and hygiene products. Because of its colour and opacifying properties, titanium dioxide is widely used in the food industry as an additive (E171). It confers a bright white shade to foods such as candy, frosting, baking and cake decorations, white sauces and more.
In recent years, discussions around the safety of this additive have taken place. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was already assessing titanium dioxide back in 2016. However, uncertainties and data gaps were identified and results at that time highlighted the need for more evidence. Numerous scientific researches have been conducted to fill data gaps, creating an increased understanding of titanium dioxide nanoparticles and their interaction with living cells. This was the first time that EFSA guidelines on nanotechnology were applied to the safety assessment of food additives.
Following this new evidence, in May 2021 EFSA concluded that E171 is no longer considered safe when used as a food additive. After oral ingestion, the absorption of TiO2 particles is low, however, they can accumulate in the body and may harm our health. Thus, EFSA cannot establish a safe level for daily intake of titanium dioxide as a food additive.1 This discovery presented a set of challenges for food companies, both large and small. There is a need to remove ingredients that contain Titanium Dioxide without compromising on the taste, texture and appearance of their products.]
Consumer’s safety is of paramount importance to Puratos. Thus, we are closely monitoring the discussion development of the topic.
TiO2 removal is rarely a straightforward process: when this additive is eliminated from the ingredient list, functionalities, costs and overall appearance may be compromised. For the last years we have been working on developing solutions without Titanium Dioxide (E171) and no compromise on taste or texture. Our work paid off and today we can proudly say that numerous solutions have been developed for fillings such as cream fillings, custard creams as well as for decorations: glazes, icings, chocolate coatings. Today we are able to offer solutions that don't contain Ti02 , with a natural visual appeal, ensuring no loss of functionalities. And because we know that price competitiveness is important for you, we developed those solutions minimizing the cost impact.
Want to know more about the available solutions? Contact your local representative!