EFSA has updated its safety assessment of the food additive titanium dioxide (E 171), following a request by the European Commission in March 2020.
The updated evaluation revises the outcome of EFSA’s previous assessment published in 2016, which highlighted the need for more research to fill data gaps.
Prof Maged Younes, Chair of EFSA’s expert Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings (FAF), said: “Taking into account all available scientific studies and data, the Panel concluded that titanium dioxide can no longer be considered safe as a food 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 low, however they can accumulate in the body”.
The assessment was conducted following a rigorous methodology and taking into consideration many thousands of studies that have become available since EFSA’s previous assessment in 2016, including new scientific evidence and data on nanoparticles.