Titanium dioxide or E171, widely used as a white colorant in fine bakery, ice cream, confectionery, soups, broths and sauces, as well as in cosmetics, paints and medicines, is once again in the spotlight. It was already banned in France in 2020 and now the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) affirms that it cannot be considered safe as a food additive after reviewing its evaluation published in 2016 following the request made by the European Commission in March 2020.
According to Professor Maged Younes, president of the EFSA Technical Commission for Food Additives and Flavors (FAF), this conclusion has been reached because genotoxicity – the ability to damage DNA – after consumption cannot be ruled out. “After ingestion, the absorption of titanium dioxide particles is low, but they can accumulate in the body.”
From here, the risk managers of the European Commission and the Member States will study the appropriate measures to guarantee consumer protection. Stella Kyriakides, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, has stated that “following the new scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority on the food additive E171, we will propose to ban its use in the EU. This month debating will begin in the member states. Our priority is the health of citizens and the safety of the food they eat “