Due to possible cancer risks, the additive E171 titanium dioxide contained in numerous foods is no longer considered safe. This is the assessment of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in a study published in May 2021. The food industry is now challenged and on the intensive search for suitable alternative products.


After the publication of the study results, various authorities such as the EU Commission and the Federal Food Safety & Veterinary Office have signalled that a ban on E171 titanium dioxides could be introduced as soon as possible. It is not yet clear when an official ban would come into force.

E171 titanium dioxide

The additive E171 contains titanium dioxide in the form of nanoparticles and has been used for decades as a whitener and brightener in baked goods, chocolates, sweets and chewing gum. Although E171 has been controversial for many years, EFSA has identified many food products in the list of ingredients where E171 titanium dioxide is still used.

Alternative products ROHA

Our manufacturing partner for Food Coloring, the company ROHA Europa from Italy, has been working on suitable alternatives to E171 Titanium Dioxide for quite some time. Due to the topicality, we are pleased to present two possible alternatives today.


This powdered whitener made from calcium carbonate, rice starch, tapioca starch and sucrose ester in powder form has good dispersibility. It is declared as food additive E170 calcium carbonate.

Example: Pralines were coated with NATRACOL PEARL WHITE. The dosage is approx. 5 x higher than for E171 titanium dioxide.


The powder whitener based on rice starch is characterized by good heat and light stability. The clean-label solution Futurals Pro White can be declared as a food ingredient and has good dispersibility.

Example: Donuts were coated with FUTURALS PRO WHITE. It is important that the heat within the process does not exceed 70 degrees Celsius.


The two proposed alternative products are suitable as whiteners and brighteners for e.g. coated bakery products, chocolates, Easter bunnies, confectionery and chewing gum.


The two alternative products as whiteners are characterized by the following properties:

  • Natural Food Colors
  • Developed as an alternative for E171 titanium dioxide
  • Tested several times and found to be good
  • Made in Europe


The published EFSA study and the ban on E171 titanium dioxides announced by various authorities are forcing food manufacturers to adapt existing formulations and resort to “safer” brighteners and whiteners. With the two qualities NATRACOL PEARL WHITE and FUTURALS PRO WHITE we have two alternatives in our portfolio, which would like to be tested by you.

Do you have any questions? I will be happy to advise you personally!

My name is Chantal Brühwiler and I am Head of the Food & Health Team at Falcone Specialities AG. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

+41 79 811 25 80