Last week, French pastry chefs agreed to ban titanium dioxide, or E171, by the end of 2019, a food additive widely used as a white colorant in both artisanal and industrial pastry, and which is also used in cosmetics, sunscreens, or toothpaste. Florence Pradier, general secretary of the union Confiseurs de France, assures that “in France, confectioners are involved and the solutions are already being implemented”.
This action is not an isolated event in France. On May 18, the Government of France announced its intention to request the suspension of the use of this pigment in food products in the form of nanoparticles, which have a greater probability of entering the body through different means (ingestion, inhalation, dermis …) before the end of the year. And it’s been a while since E171 has been in the spotlight. In fact, a 2017 INRA study states that the continued exposure of this dye in rats for 100 days had effects on the immune system and the development of preneoplastic lesions in the colon. Will this be the beginning of the end of the color white in desserts, ice creams, cookies, chocolate bars..?