Titanium Dioxide

IACM FAQ’s about Food Grade Titanium Dioxide

Identifiers

Titania
CI Pigment White 6
CI No. 77891
E171
INS No. 171
CAS No. 13463-67-7
EINECS No. 236-675-5

Physical Description

Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) is a bright white pigment that has a melting point ranging from 1830-1850°C.  It is soluble in alkali solutions and sulfuric acid, but insoluble in nitric acid and water.  The three crystalline forms of titanium dioxide that exist in nature are anastase, brookite, and rutile, with anastase being the most commonly available. Only synthetically produced TiO2 is used as a color additive and has excellent light, heat and pH stability. Industrial TiO2 is primarily the product of chemical synthesis using ilmenite (FeTiO3) as the source of titanium.

Common Uses

Titanium dioxide is used to color confectionery goods, bakery products, dairy products, cheeses, icings and decorations, frozen desserts, non-dairy creamers, dried soup, pet foods, pharmaceutical products and cosmetics.

Specifications

US FDA
JECFA
EU Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012

Codex GSFA Provisions

Titanium dioxide (INS No 171) is a food additive that is included in Table 3 of the General Standard of Food Additives (GSFA), and as such may be used in specified foods under the conditions of good manufacturing practices (GMP) as outlined in the Preamble of the Codex GSFA. Titanium dioxide is acceptable in foods conforming to Commodity Standards for Bouillons and Consommés (CS 117-1981), Certain Canned Fruits (CS 319-2015), and Provolone (CS 272-1968).

Regulatory Approvals

USA: Titanium dioxide is exempt from certification and may be safely used for coloring foods generally, as long as the quantity of titanium dioxide does not exceed 1% by weight of the food (21 CFR 73.575), for coloring ingested and externally applied drugs generally, in amounts consistent with GMP (21 CFR 73.1575), and in cosmetics, including cosmetics intended for use in the area of the eye in amounts consistent with GMP (21 CFR 73.2575).

JECFA: An ADI “not limited” was established at the 13th JECFA (13th Report, 1969).

EC: No ADI established but acceptable for use in food (EFSA, 2016). EFSA has authorized specific food and beverage categories where titanium dioxide can be used at quantum satis

Safety Reviews

JECFA (1970) Toxicological evaluation of some food colors, emulsifiers, stabilizers, anti-caking agents and certain other substances. FAO Nutr. Mtgs. Rept. Ser. No. 46A; WHO Food Add. 70.36. Available online

EFSA ANS Panel (EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food), 2016. Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of titanium dioxide (E 171) as a food additive. EFSA Journal 2016;14(9):4545, 83 pp. Available online

EFSA FAF Panel (EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings), 2019. Scientific opinion on the proposed amendment of the EU specifications for titanium dioxide (E 171) with respect to the inclusion of additional parameters related to its particle size distribution. EFSA Journal 2019;17(7):5760, 23 pp. Available online