The deadline represents the end of the process that began in January 2022, in which Regulation withdrawing the authorisation to use titanium dioxide as a food additive in food products was adopted (Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/63).
This regulation entered into force on 7 February 2022 and included a six-month grace period to allow food firms time to phase out the use of this food additive and to reformulate their products using suitable alternatives.
The rules state that foods containing titanium dioxide that is lawfully placed on the EU market before 7 August 2022 may remain on the market until its date of minimum durability or its ‘use-by’ date has passed.
Food produced or placed on the market after 7 August 2022 cannot contain titanium dioxide.
The ban on the use of titanium dioxide is effective in each EU Member State, and in Northern Ireland.
UK permits use
However, in the UK, the use of titanium dioxide is still permitted, with no indications that it will align with the EU on this issue.
As it is a ‘regulation’ rather than a ‘directive’, it takes immediate effect and does not have to be transposed into national law by individual Member States.
“All food businesses currently using titanium dioxide as a food additive have a legal responsibility to comply with the requirements of Regulation (EU) 2022/63, banning the use of titanium dioxide,” states the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).
“The FSAI encourages food businesses to source suitable alternatives to titanium dioxide and start the process of reformulation now to ensure compliance in advance of the ban coming into force on 7 August 2022.”
Titanium dioxide is used to achieve a bright white colour in a range of food, nutraceutical, food supplement and pharmaceutical products, from chewing gum and confectionery to sunscreen, toothpaste, soft gels, hard capsules, tablets, lozenges and gummies.