Blue California launches clean-label food grade whitening agents as alternative to titanium dioxide

Following food authority EFSA’s ban of food additive titanium dioxide (TiO2), Blue California, the producer of natural science-based ingredients, launched novel food-grade whitening agents as a clean-label alternative to replacing potential health risk white colorant titanium dioxide.

“Brands that seek to replace the titanium dioxide white colorant will find many benefits to Blue California’s patent-pending food-grade whitening agents,” said Cuie Yan, PhD, vice-president of encapsulation. “Our alternative to titanium dioxide is industry-changing with opacifying or whitening effects and excellent sensory benefits with a delicious creamy/rich mouthfeel, and contains proprietary ingredients that may have additional benefits such as supporting cognitive health.”

One of the most widely used food pigments is titanium dioxide (E171), an odourless powder that enhances foods’ white colour or opacity. The most common titanium dioxide products are chewing gum, candies, pastries, chocolates, coffee creamers, and cake decorations. Titanium dioxide is also used as a pigment in paints and medicines.

In recent decades, concerns about the risks of titanium dioxide consumption have grown. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categorises titanium dioxide as generally recognised as safe (GRAS) at a maximum of 1% weight, but other organisations have issued warnings.

New governing rules in Europe are in action for producers to reformulate their products during a six-month window of phasing out titanium dioxide (E171). This follows the food authority European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) decision deeming titanium dioxide (E171) as “not safe” in 2021, and now a complete ban in 2022. France suspended the use of titanium dioxide in January 2020.

“Our clean-label, food-grade, and effective whitening agents are heat and pH stable for a variety of applications that match the performance of titanium dioxide yet overcome its safety concerns,” said Yan. “We’ve innovated these solutions as safe alternatives for brands that need to reformulate products rapidly due to government authorities concerns, bans, and phasing out titanium dioxide.”

Blue California’s patent-pending food-grade whitening powders have a similar size in diameter to the traditional titanium dioxide with higher L values (whiter).

The food-grade whitening agents have been tested in chewing gum compared to titanium dioxide. The whitening effect results of Blue California’s whitening agents are as remarkable as titanium dioxide. The whiteness increases as the dosage increases.

“We’re ready to collaborate with product developers to replace titanium dioxide with a clean-label, delicious, and safer whitening agents in their product lines,” said Yan.