From 7th August, titanium dioxide (E171) will no longer be authorised within the EU as a food additive. E171 is used in food as a colour, to make food more visually appealing or to give colour to food that would otherwise be colourless.
Titanium dioxide is often used in a variety of food categories, including bakery products, soups, broths, sauces, salads, savoury based sandwiches spreads and processed nuts. It’s also widely used in confectionary, food supplements and cake icing.
In May 2021, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an opinion that stated that titanium dioxide can no longer be considered safe when used as a food additive. From this decision, the European Commission and the Member States agreed to remove all uses of titanium dioxide as an additive in food.
The regulation came into force on 7 February 2022, however, a six-month transitional period was included within the regulation to allow businesses to phase out the use of the additive and find alternative solutions. This period will end on 7 August 2022.
Any products containing titanium dioxide that are placed on the market before 7th August can remain until the products date of maximum durability or it’s use-by date has passed. Any products placed on the market from 7th August cannot contain titanium dioxide.
This ban does not affect products sold in the UK, however, it is effective in each EU member state and in Northern Ireland.
All food businesses currently using titanium dioxide as a food additive have a legal responsibility to comply with the requirements of Regulation (EU) 2022/63, banning the use of titanium dioxide.