The last few months have seen the rise of many variations regarding regulatory topics within the EU. Among these, one of the latest news having significant impact on the nutraceutical and food sectors, concerns additive E171 (Titanium dioxide). This molecule is used in a wide variety of food products (sweets, sauces, cheese and fish-based products, etc.), cosmetics, supplements, sun screen and more, as additive or technological adjuvant.
Contrary to what was published in 2016, on the 6th of May 2021, EFSA published a report in which experts on food additives and flavourings concluded that Titanium Dioxide can no longer be considered safe as a food additive and problems regarding the genotoxicity of its consumption can no longer be ignored. This means that it is not possible to establish an acceptable daily intake (DGA) for titanium dioxide.
It is now up to the European Commission and the Member States to decide how to manage the risk highlighted by EFSA: whether to intervene in the ways in which the additive is used in food and/or decide to remove it from the list of food additives authorised under Reg. (EC) 1333/2008.
It is fair to note that the use of Titanium Dioxide has already been suspended in France since the 1st of January 2020 after a negative opinion published in 2019 by ANSES. France has also recently extended the suspension to another year to the 1st of January 2022.
Currently, E171 can be used without limitation in solid and liquid dietary supplements (with the exception of formulations intended for infants). Needless to say, the supplements (and food) industry will have to take immediate action to revise formulations and mixes in order to be prepared when the ban becomes effective. Sochim International S.p.A. is ready to face this obstacle, proposing solutions and alternatives.
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