Following EFSA Ban of Food Additive Titanium Dioxide (TiO2), Blue California Launches Clean-label Food Grade Whitening Agents as Alternatives

Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., Jan. 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Following food authority EFSA’s ban of food additive titanium dioxide (TiO2), Blue California, the producer of natural science-based ingredients, launched novel food-grade whitening agents as a clean-label alternative to replacing potential health risk white colorant titanium dioxide.

“Brands that seek to replace the titanium dioxide white colorant will find many benefits to Blue California’s patent-pending food-grade whitening agents,” said Cuie Yan, Ph.D., vice president of encapsulation. “Our alternative to titanium dioxide is industry-changing with opacifying or whitening effects and excellent sensory benefits with a delicious creamy/rich mouthfeel, and contains proprietary ingredients that may have additional benefits such as supporting cognitive health.”

One of the most widely used food pigments is titanium dioxide (E171), an odorless powder that enhances foods’ white color or opacity. The most common titanium dioxide products are chewing gum, candies, pastries, chocolates, coffee creamers, and cake decorations. Titanium dioxide is also used as a pigment in paints and medicines.

In recent decades, concerns about the risks of titanium dioxide consumption have grown. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categorizes titanium dioxide as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) at a maximum of 1% weight, but other organizations have issued warnings.

New governing rules in Europe are in action for producers to reformulate their products during a six-month window of phasing out titanium dioxide (E171). This follows the food authority European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) decision deeming titanium dioxide (E171) as “not safe” in 2021, and now a complete ban in 2022. France suspended the use of titanium dioxide in January 2020.

“Our clean-label, food-grade, and effective whitening agents are heat and pH stable for a variety of applications that match the performance of titanium dioxide yet overcome its safety concerns,” said Yan. “We’ve innovated these solutions as safe alternatives for brands that need to reformulate products rapidly due to government authorities concerns, bans, and phasing out titanium dioxide.”

Blue California’s patent-pending food-grade whitening powders have a similar size in diameter to the traditional titanium dioxide with higher L values (whiter), as shown in Table 1 below:

Table 1. Color and particle size comparison between Blue California’s novel food-grade whitening agents versus titanium dioxide whitening powder.

Sample ID Color Measurement Redispersion Diameter
L a b nm
Titanium Dioxide (reference) 96.06 -0.26 1.54 310.5
Novel Food Grade Whitening 1 97.42 -0.09 1.45 266.4
Novel Food Grade Whitening 2 97.43 -0.09 1.95 278.2
Novel Food Grade Whitening 3 97.48 -0.11 1.43 305.0

Note: The a and b ‘Color Measurement’ values are color depth markers of red, green, blue, and yellow. The ‘Redispersion Diameter’ measures the particle size.

The food-grade whitening agents have been tested in chewing gum compared to titanium dioxide. The whitening effect results of Blue California’s whitening agents are as remarkable as titanium dioxide. The whiteness increases as the dosage increases.

“We’re ready to collaborate with product developers to replace titanium dioxide with a clean-label, delicious, and safer whitening agents in their product lines,” said Yan.

About Blue California

Blue California is an entrepreneurial, science-based solutions provider and manufacturer of clean, natural, and sustainable ingredients used in food, beverage, flavor, fragrance, dietary supplements, personal care, and cosmetic products. For more than 25 years, Blue California has built a strong reputation for creating value in these diverse natural products and nature-inspired industries.


Ana Arakelian
Blue California