A study for the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), published on 20 January 2017, suggests that using titanium dioxide in food is susceptible to generate possible human carcinogen.
Studies allowing the setting of an acceptable daily intake of the additive were not finalized in due time by professionals. As a consequence, France´s health and safety agency (ANSES) has ruled that there is not enough evidence to guarantee the safety of titanium dioxide.
Therefore, France will ban the use of the additive from January 1st 2020. Titanium dioxide (TiO₂ or E171 as it is known in Europe), is a coloring with no nutritional value. To give a white, opaque or cloudy effect it is mainly used in pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, food, confectionery, toothpaste, and cosmetics.
Titanium dioxide remains authorized in other member states of the EU. But the issue might be discussed at EU level within the next few months. The European Commission should discuss whether the suspension of TiO₂ complies with EU Food Legislation and decide whether it should be extended at EU level or not. Sensient Pharmaceutical has been following this global shift away from titanium dioxide very closely over the years and innovating for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical manufacturers interested in cleaner ingredient alternatives. With this, we have developed Spectrablend™ TFN–Titanium Free Natural, Spectrablend™ CC and Avalanche™ for brands that want to remove TiO₂ from their label.