Titanium dioxide no longer safe as a food additive

A comprehensive and updated evaluation of titanium dioxide (E171) cannot rule out risk of genotoxic effects. Regulatory decisions on its future authorisation as a food additive now lie with the EU Commission.

In a safety assessment of titanium dioxide made by EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, it is concluded that genotoxic concerns after consumption of titanium dioxide particles cannot be excluded. After oral ingestion, the absorption of titanium dioxide particles is low, however, they can accumulate in the body. Genotoxic effects may damage the DNA and may lead to carcinogenic effects.

EFSA’s expert panel could not establish a safe level for daily intake of the food additive. As a result, titanium dioxide can no longer be considered safe as a food additive.

May affect use in medicines
It should be noted, as an aside, that any regulatory decisions may also affect the use of titanium dioxide as a colouring agent in pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements.

For more information on food additives, please contact:

Helle Buchardt Boyd   
Tel +45 4516 9097