Titanium dioxide, a white food coloring, soon to be banned in Europe

The food additive E171, titanium dioxide, will soon be banned in Europe. The European Commission adopted a decision to this effect on Friday, after unanimous support from the member states.

Last May, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) revised its assessment of this additive and estimated, on the basis of the latest scientific studies available, that a risk of genotoxicity (effect on DNA could not be excluded). ) when consumed via the power supply.

The additive E171, which usually contains particles of nanometric size, is a white food coloring. It is used in all kinds of food products: in the spring EFSA listed fine bakery products, soups, broths, sauces, salads and salty spreads, processed nuts, as the main sources of ingestion through the diet.

Titanium dioxide is also used in cosmetics, paints and even medicines, but the ban decided on Friday only concerns its role in food.

The regulation will enter into force in the weeks following its publication in the Official Journal. It provides for a six-month transition period, enough time for producers to adapt their products. For six months (or even more, depending on the expiration date of the food), we can still find food products using the additive E171 on the shelves.

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