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Exposure assessment of the food additive titanium dioxide (E 171) based on use levels provided by the industry

De blootstelling aan het voedseladditief titaniumdioxide (E 171) : Berekeningen op basis van data van de industrie

Synopsis

Titanium dioxide (E 171) is a food colour that provides foods such as confectionary, sauces, and decorations of food (e.g. fondant or icing) a white colour. The best estimate of the median long-term exposure to titanium dioxide (E 171) in the present study ranges from 0.5 mg/kg bw/d (upper limit 1.1 mg/kg bw/d) for elderly adults to 1.4 mg/kg bw/d (upper limit 3.2 mg/kg bw/d) for children. The 95th percentiles of the exposure are about a factor of 3-4 higher. Many foods contribute to the exposure to E 171; the most important food groups are (decorated) fine bakery wares, desserts and sauces. The estimated exposure of both children and adults is comparable to other recent exposure estimates.

The estimate is based on information obtained from the industry about the application of E 171 in food products and the levels of this food additive used in these products. The exposure assessments are performed without taking into account the consumption frequency of brands and more detailed information of the foods consumed. In addition, the exposure estimate is based on the average intake of two consumption days, without taking into account the within-subject variability in consumption patterns. This implies that the estimated intake of E 171 is most likely conservative and the true exposure may be lower. By addressing these aspects, the exposure assessments could be refined further.

The study was performed on the initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and the Federation of the Dutch Food and Grocery Industry (FNLI). This work applies a system as requested in EU Regulations EU 1333/2008 (food additives) and 1334/2008 (flavourings), and is developed by VWS, FNLI and RIVM.
 

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