The European Food Safety Authority announced that E171 coded titanium dioxide, which is frequently used in products such as chewing gum and confectionery, has been included in the class of unsafe additives.
It was decided that titanium dioxide, known with the code E171 and used as a moisture retainer, coloring and coloring agent in foods, is not safe as an additive in foods. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) made the decision after years of research.
EFSA did not include the chemical in the harmful category in its assessment in 2016, on the grounds that E171, which is frequently used in products such as confectionery, instant desserts, chewing gum, white flour, table salt and baking powder, is not a health hazard.
At the time when the decision was taken, some opinions were raised that E171 may cause various health problems, especially if it enters the body in the form of nanoparticles (eg sprayed sunscreens).
At the end of the day, an official named Maged Younes, who made a statement on behalf of EFSA, said, “There are still some uncertainties in the research put forward. But we could not be expected to ignore concerns over the chemical’s genotoxic effect (a toxic effect on the genetic material of cells). For this reason, we decided to reclassify the E171. ” said.
The decision taken by EFSA does not mean that E171 is banned immediately. The decision, which is a recommendation, must also be adopted by the European Parliament. France became one of the countries that banned titanium dioxide with its decision in 2020.