Titanium dioxide: E171 no for a longer period deemed safe when used as a food items additive

EFSA has updated its safety evaluation of the food additive titanium dioxide (E 171), following a ask for by the European Commission in March 2020. 

The updated evaluation revises the consequence of EFSA’s previous assessment published in 2016, which highlighted the want for more research to fill facts gaps.  

Prof Maged Younes, Chair of EFSA’s expert Panel on Foodstuff Additives and Flavourings (FAF), said: “Taking into account all available scientific studies and knowledge, the Panel concluded that titanium dioxide can no more time be deemed safe as a meals additive. A critical element in reaching this conclusion is that we could not exclude genotoxicity concerns after consumption of titanium dioxide particles. After oral ingestion, the absorption of titanium dioxide particles is lower, however they can accumulate in the body”. 

The assessment was conducted following a rigorous methodology and using into consideration many countless numbers of experiments that have become obtainable given that EFSA’s earlier evaluation in 2016, including new scientific evidence and data on nanoparticles. 

Our scientific gurus applied for the 1st time the 2018 EFSA Scientific Committee Direction on Nanotechnology to the protection assessment of food additives. Titanium dioxide E 171 has at most 50% of particles in the nano range (i.e. less than 100 nanometres) to which people may possibly be exposed.  

Genotoxicity Assessment 

Genotoxicity refers to the ability of a chemical substance to damage DNA, the genetic content of cells. As genotoxicity may possibly guide to carcinogenic results, it is critical to assess the possible genotoxic outcome of a substance to conclude on its protection.  

Prof Matthew Wright, each a member of the FAF Panel and chair of EFSA’s performing group on E 171, claimed: “Although the evidence for basic toxic results was not conclusive, on the basis of the new information and strengthened approaches we could not rule out a worry for genotoxicity and therefore we could not establish a harmless level for day by day intake of the foods additive.”

Risk supervisors at the European Commission and in EU Member States have been educated of EFSA’s conclusions and will look at acceptable action to acquire to be certain consumers’ protection.


Titanium dioxide (E 171) is authorised as a food stuff additive in the EU according to Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008.  

The basic safety of the foodstuff additive E 171 was re-evaluated by the EFSA ANS Panel in 2016 in the body of Regulation (EU) No 257/2010, as portion of the re-evaluation programme for foodstuff additives authorised in the EU right before 20 January 2009.  

In its 2016 opinion, the ANS Panel recommended new experiments be carried out to fill the gaps on probable outcomes on the reproductive method, which could allow them to set an Appropriate Daily Intake (ADI). Uncertainty around the characterisation of the product employed as the food additive (E 171) was also highlighted, in individual with respect to particle size and particle measurement distribution of titanium dioxide used as E 171.   

In 2019, EFSA released a assertion on the critique of the chance relevant to the publicity to food items additive titanium dioxide (E171) performed by the French Agency for Foodstuff, Natural environment and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES). In its assertion, EFSA highlighted that the ANSES viewpoint reiterated the uncertainties and knowledge gaps beforehand discovered by EFSA and did not present conclusions that invalidated the Authority’s preceding conclusions on the security of titanium dioxide.

In the similar yr (2019), the Netherlands Foodstuff and Customer Solution Security Authority (NVWA) also shipped an feeling on possible well being outcomes of food additive titanium dioxide, which highlighted the worth of examining immunotoxicological consequences in addition to likely reprotoxicological effects.

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