In May 2021 EFSA concluded that the food additive TiO2 (E171) can no longer be considered safe when used as a food additive.

What is TiO2 (E171)?

Titanium dioxide (TiO2), known as E171 in our food, is an additive which is very commonly used as a colourant in food, but it is also present in paints, cosmetics and medicines.

The EFSA decision.

Since 2016 the safety of the food additive TiO2 is under evaluation by the EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008  states that Food Additives must be safe when used, there must be a technological need for their use, and their use must not mislead the consumer and must be of benefit to the consumer*.

In May 2021 the final EFSA opinion** was published: On the basis of all available evidence, a risk of genotoxicity could not be excluded and, taking into account the many uncertainties, the Panel concluded that E171 can no longer be considered safe when used as a food additive.

What are the consequences?

Based on the EFSA opinion, the EU commission will now issue a decision to ban the use of TiO2 in food supplements. This will lead to the update of Annex II & III of Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on food additives

The decision is expected to be published in January 2022, including a 6-month transition period. This implies that food supplements containing TiO2 may be placed on the market until 6 months after the decision has become final. Food supplements placed on the market before that deadline, may be sold until their expiration date.


ð After the transition period, food supplements including TiO2 can no longer be placed on the market!


Belgium versus France

The Belgian Public Agency where food supplements must be notified, has recently started refusing notifications for products including TiO2.

This is in marked contrast to France where the use of TiO2 in food additives has already been prohibited since 2019.

Are you ready?

If you need assistance in evaluating which changes are required for your food supplements, or guidance on how to report these changes to the Belgian Food Supplement Portal, we can help you!

If you are puzzled by whether you can or not still release such food supplements to the market, reach out to us, we can help !

Important Note!

The ban of TiO2 is currently not yet applicable for medicinal products, cosmetics and Medical Devices.


Do not hesitate to contact us if you need further information!