EFSA Panel Concludes New Titanium Dioxide Studies Do Not Merit Reopening Opinion
The July 2018 issue of the EFSA Journal includes an article entitled “Evaluation of four new studies on the potential toxicity of titanium dioxide used as a food additive (E 171).” The European Commission (EC) asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to carry out a scientific evaluation on four studies on the potential toxicity of titanium dioxide used as a food additive (E 171) and to indicate whether they would merit re-opening EFSA’s 2016 opinion on the safety of titanium dioxide (E 171) as a food additive. The article states that overall, three of the studies assessed reported that titanium dioxide was able to induce various effects in in vitro and in vivo models. According to the EFSA Panel, these studies may be useful for hazard identification of titanium dioxide. The article notes that the Panel considered that the limited relevance of the protocols of these studies to the use of E 171 under realistic conditions in food hampered the use of the data in the risk assessment of the food additive E 171. In the fourth study, Heringa et al. (2016), numerous assumptions were made, which resulted in large uncertainty in their conclusion. The article states that more research exploring the possible effects observed in three of the four studies could address their applicability to the risk assessment of the food additive E 171 under realistic conditions of use. Altogether, the Panel concluded that the outcome of the four studies did not merit re-opening the existing opinion of EFSA related to the safety of titanium dioxide (E 171) as a food additive.