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Rodrigo Louvat
I am a Marketing Associate at Tera in charge of digital marketing and content creation, writing blog articles and newsletters. Drop me a line at if you feel like it!

Titanium Dioxide in Food: Understanding the Risks of This Common Additive

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Food additives and colorings, specifically titanium dioxide, have come under scrutiny in recent years. Found in many of our favorite treats such as M&Ms, Skittles, Beyond Meat plant-based chicken tenders and Chips Ahoy! cookies, titanium dioxide is a widely used color enhancer. However, it’s not as harmless as it might seem.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a white pigment used in many products, from cosmetics to plastics to toothpaste – and it’s also widely used in food. When used as a food additive it’s known as E171 and is typically found in the greatest amounts in processed foods like chocolate, sweets, baked goods,  chewing gum, etc.

Titanium Dioxide chemical formula Ti02

There’s a growing body of scientific evidence suggesting potential harmful effects of titanium dioxide. Animal studies have shown that its consumption could cause changes to gut microbiota and inflammation, potentially increasing the risk of colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. It’s known to accumulate in our bodies, particularly in our organs, causing potential neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity.

In-vitro studies have suggested titanium dioxide might induce oxidative stress, resulting in inflammation and damage to cells and DNA. Over time, these impacts could contribute to serious health conditions, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, damage to the reproductive system, and cause birth defects.

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Shockingly, this chemical has been a part of our food chain for decades. While the European Food Safety Authority recently banned its use in food in light of these scientific findings, the US is yet to follow suit. Public health advocates have petitioned the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to withdraw its approval for the use of this additive, but the decision is still pending.

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The law doesn’t require the FDA to review the safety of such chemicals periodically, making our awareness and vigilance even more critical. Here’s where we can help. Our app, Tera, is designed to help you identify such potentially harmful ingredients in your food, acting as a convenient pocket guide for your nutrition.

However, it’s not just about avoiding titanium dioxide. Thousands of additives and colorings are used in food manufacturing. While some are safe, others may have long-term health effects. The quest for more natural and safer food alternatives continues, but the first step is staying informed and understanding the potential impacts of what we consume.

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Make sure to scan all your products with Tera before purchasing products to be sure there is no Titanium Dioxide in any of your products. Remember Titanium Dioxide and other similar chemicals are used in food and cosmetic products.

Together, let’s take this step towards a healthier lifestyle. Remember, you’re not just what you eat; you’re also what’s in what you eat.

Stay informed, stay healthy!

Help us empower people to make a positive impact by joining our movement and using our conscious shopping app. Build a community and demand change by subscribing and sharing. Together we can revolutionize everyday shopping and create a brighter future.

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