Colorants in Food Supplements: Ban on E171

Colorants in Food Supplements: Ban on E171

The European Union issued the past February 2022  a  ban on titanium dioxide used as a food additive. This action comes after the re-evaluation performed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2021.

As seen in its report, EFSA concluded that titanium dioxide could not be considered safe as a food additive as concern for genotoxicity could not be ruled out. Consequently, titanium dioxide cannot be longer used in food products including its use as a colorant (E171) for food supplements.

As per this conclusion, the Belgian Competent Authorities issued IN May 2021 a warning to all  food supplements’ producers to stop using E171 on their products and to search for an alternative substance.

How can this ban affect my products?

Thus, applying the European Regulation 2022/63 from 18 January 2022, titanium dioxide is banned from food products. This prohibition will come into effect on 8 August 2022, leaving three months for manufacturers, importers and distributors to adapt to this regulation. Food products containing this substance produced before the 7th of August 2022 can remain on the market after that date until their date of minimum durability or “use by” date.

Therefore, after the 7th of August 2022 no food product containing E171 will be permitted to be produced or imported into the EU market.

This prohibition does not affect medicines, but it is worth to mentioned that food supplements are considered food products and consequently are affected by this prohibition too.

How does the ban on substances work?

Independent scientific committees formed by experts in the field assess the substances of concern to human health. One of them is EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings (FAF).  The Panel played a pivotal role in the process of E171 prohibition. Upon Panel’s opinion regarding its safety, the EU Regulators voted to ban the substance in food products.

Therefore, the EFSA plays a crucial role in determining the prohibition or limitation of numerous substances, having its impact on a wide variety of legislation, from food supplements to cosmetics as indicated health concerns trigger alerts in other legislative frameworks.

Are you interested in knowing more about future substances prohibitions? Contact us to stay informed on the most recent regulatory updates.

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Pablo de Mingo Monge

Junior Consultant, Publications Department



EUR-Lex.(14 January, 2022). Règlement (UE) 2022/63 de la Commission du 14 janvier 2022 modifiant les annexes II et III du règlement (CE) no 1333/2008 du Parlement européen et du Conseil en ce qui concerne l’additif alimentaire dioxyde de titane (E171). Retrieved on 20/04/2022 from

SPF Santé. (1 February, 2022). Interdiction d'utiliser le colorant dioxyde de titane (E171) dans les denrées alimentaires à partir du 8 août 2022. Retrieved on 13/04/2022 from

SPF Santé. (12 May, 2021). Le SPF Santé suit de près la nouvelle évaluation du Dioxyde de titane (E171) de l’EFSA (mis à jour). Retrieved on 13/04/2022 from

EFSA. (6 May, 2021). Safety assessment of titanium dioxide (E171) as a food additive. Retrieved on 20/04/2022 from

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