Food and Behaviour Research

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Possible Adverse Effects of Food Additive E171 (Titanium Dioxide) Related to Particle Specific Human Toxicity, Including the Immune System

Bischoff N, Kok T, Sijm D, Breda S, Briedé J, Castenmiller J ,Opperhuizen A, Chirino Y, Dirven H, Gott D, Houdeau E, Oomen A, Poulsen M, Rogler G, Loveren H  (2020) International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22(1) 207 doi: 10.3390/ijms22010207 

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Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is used as a food additive (E171) and can be found in sauces, icings, and chewing gums, as well as in personal care products such as toothpaste and pharmaceutical tablets.

Along with the ubiquitous presence of TiO
2 and recent insights into its potentially hazardous properties, there are concerns about its application in commercially available products. Especially the nano-sized particle fraction warrants a more detailed evaluation of potential adverse health effects after ingestion.

A workshop organized by the Dutch Office for Risk Assessment and Research (BuRO) identified uncertainties and knowledge gaps regarding the gastrointestinal absorption of TiO
2, its distribution, the potential for accumulation, and induction of adverse health effects such as inflammation, DNA damage, and tumor promotion.

This review aims to identify and evaluate recent toxicological studies on food-grade TiO
2 and nano-sized TiO2 in ex-vivo, in-vitro, and in-vivo experiments along the gastrointestinal route, and to postulate an Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) following ingestion.

Additionally, this review summarizes recommendations and outcomes of the expert meeting held by the BuRO in 2018, in order to contribute to the hazard identification and risk assessment process of ingested TiO