Following the publication of four new reports on the potential toxicity of titanium dioxide, EFSA has been asked by the European Commission to assess whether it should reconsider its opinion on the use of the substance as a food additive. The studies of Bettini et al. (2017), Proquin et al. (2017) and Guo et al. (2017) focused on the potential of oral titanium dioxide to promote carcinogenesis in rats, its effects on intestinal function, and its in vitro genotoxicity in a human colon cancer cell line. The other report was a Dutch risk assessment of titanium dioxide in the human liver and spleen (Heringa et al., 2016). EFSA concluded that the primary studies may be useful for hazard characterisation, but were limited in their usefulness for risk assessment. A large degree of uncertainty was noted for the conclusion of the Heringa et al. assessment. Overall none of the study outcomes was deemed to warrant a re-evaluation of the safety of titanium dioxide as a food additive.

European Food Safety Authority (2018). Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS). Evaluation of four new studies on the potential toxicity of titanium dioxide used as a food additive (E 171).


The above items were taken from the August 2018 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra.

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