Whether these concerns are warranted or not is unclear. The European Commission regularly evaluates the safety of food additives. In response to an evaluation of TiO2 in April 2019 by the French Agency for Food, Environmental, and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES), the commission requested that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) provide urgent scientific and technical assistance regarding the opinion . ANSES had examined recent scientific studies on the additive and found that none of them was robust enough to confirm or rule out potential harmful effects. EFSA agreed that uncertainties and data gaps still exist.
The demand for nutraceutical products that are free of TiO2 is also part of a consumer-driven trend called the Clean Label movement. A Clean Label product must use familiar, simple ingredients that are easy to recognize, understand, and pronounce.
TiO2 doesn’t stand alone in this trend. Consumers have driven the movement to replace all artificial ingredients in nutraceuticals with natural ingredients, to require nutritional information about ingredients on labels, and to require transparency in ingredient labels.
Demand for TiO2-free OTC and other pharmaceutical products is also slowly beginning to grow. Some regulatory bodies have supported this movement, and France has even banned the use of TiO2 in food.
As a result, the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries are looking for alternatives to critical solid dosage excipients, including flow agents, lubricants, binders, fillers, and pigments. In addition to TiO2, manufacturers are currently evaluating alternatives to synthetic colors, iron oxides, silicon dioxides, magnesium stearates, and talc.