Pearlescent Pigments

Identifiers

Mica-Based Pearlescent Pigments
INS No. 176(i-iii)
Potassium aluminium silicate-based pearlescent pigments coated with titanium dioxide (Type 1)
Potassium aluminium silicate-based pearlescent pigments coated with Iron oxide (Type II)
Potassium aluminium silicate-based pearlescent pigments coated with titanium dioxide and Iron oxide (Type III)

Physical Description

Potassium aluminum silicate-based pearlescent pigments are formed by depositing titanium and/or iron salts onto mica or potassium aluminium silicate, followed by calcination at high temperatures. The resulting pigment consists of potassium aluminium silicate or mica coated with titanium dioxide, iron oxide and, potentially, mixed oxides.

Specifications for Food Use

US FDA

JECFA

Regulatory Approvals

USA: Mica-based pearlescent pigments are a color additive exempt from certification and permanently listed for food use at 1.25% by weight in cereals, confections and frostings, gelatin desserts, hard and soft candies (including lozenges), nutritional supplement tablets and gelatin capsules, and chewing gum. In amounts up to 0.07 % by weight in distilled spirits containing not less than 18 % and not more than 25% alcohol by volume, cordials, liqueurs, flavored alcoholic malt beverages, wine coolers, cocktails, and nonalcoholic cocktail mixers and mixes. In egg decorating kits used for coloring the shells of eggs in amounts consistent with GMP (21 CFR 73.350), for drug use at 3% by weight of drug; Iron nte 55 % pigment (21 CFR 73.1350).

JECFA: A PTWI of 2 mg/kg bw for total aluminum was established at the 74th JECFA (2011). The PTWI applies to all aluminum compounds in food, including food additives. ADIs of ‘not limited’ for titanium dioxide and 0-0.5 mg/kg bw for iron oxides were established at the 13th JECFA (1969) and 53rd JECFA (1999), respectively.

EU:  Considered a mixture of E171 with E555.