Anvisa Monitors and Re-evaluates the Use of Titanium Dioxide Additives in FoodJuly 31, 2023
The Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) maintains continuous monitoring of scientific data and updates on authorized food additives in Brazil. In this context, Anvisa included the re-evaluation of the authorization for the use of the titanium dioxide additive in its 2021-2023 Regulatory Agenda. Discover what this means for food security in the country.
What is Titanium Dioxide and Why is it Important?
Titanium dioxide is a food additive used as a coloring agent in several countries for decades, without significant evidence of risks to human health. The Joint FAO and WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) have evaluated it on several occasions, and the last review was in 2002.
Anvisa’s Re-evaluation and Position
In line with the indication of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which also decided to re-evaluate titanium dioxide, Anvisa started the review process in 2021. Until the conclusion of this re-evaluation, Anvisa chose not to issue new authorizations for the use of the additive, maintaining the validity of existing authorizations until 2021.
Evaluations from other Agencies and Questions
In 2021, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) evaluated the substance, concluding that it is not possible to rule out the risk of genotoxicity from nanometric-scale particles present in titanium dioxide. Because of this evaluation, the European Union has suspended the use of the additive under certain circumstances.
Transparency and Participation in Society
Anvisa promoted a sectorial dialogue and a sectorial consultation on the subject, involving representatives of the food industry, consumers, and the scientific community. However, the conclusion of the re-evaluation by the JECFA committee will be fundamental to direct future decisions in Brazil and Mercosur.
Anvisa’s Monitoring and Priorities
Anvisa continues to closely monitor ongoing work in other regulatory agencies, the FAO/WHO, and other relevant scientific discoveries. Anvisa’s commitment is to ensure the safety and quality of food consumed in Brazil, based on up-to-date and thorough scientific information.
Food Safety in the Spotlight
The re-evaluation of the titanium dioxide additive is an important measure to ensure food safety and the health of Brazilian consumers. Anvisa is committed to keeping up-to-date and promoting transparency and the participation of society in this process. While the re-evaluation is ongoing, the authorizations for the use of titanium dioxide are still valid until 2021. The agency is prepared to adopt the best decisions, in line with the latest scientific evidence. The health and well-being of the population are non-negotiable priorities for Anvisa.
Access the documents of the titanium dioxide additive evaluation process:
Attendance List and Minutes of the Sectorial Dialogue meeting