Lawsuit Claims that Skittles are 'Unfit for Human Consumption' because of Titanium Dioxide
Us consumers have filed a lawsuit against Mars in a California court on last Thursday, claiming that Skittles contains too much titanium dioxide (E171).
Is titanium dioxide harmful to the body?
Titanium dioxide is an additive used in pigments, adhesives and plastics, which can cause changes in DNA in the human body. It can also cause damage to organs such as the brain, and damage the liver and kidneys.
In May 2021, the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has updated its safety assessment of the food additive titanium dioxide (E171), considering E171 no longer safe when used as a food additive.
However, it was still legal in the United States. According to the FDA's federal regulations, "the colorant titanium dioxide is generally safe for food coloring." But the FDA limits titanium dioxide to no more than 1 percent by weight.
Years before EFSA's announcement, Mars shared plans to phase out titanium dioxide from its products. Although Mars' plan was announced in 2016, the company has yet to remove titanium dioxide from Skittles and other products.
What is Titanium Dioxide and What is Titanium Dioxide Used For?
Titanium dioxide is an inorganic substance with the chemical formula TiO2. It is a white solid or powdered amphoteric oxide. The molecular weight is 79.9. It is non-toxic, has the best opacity, the best whiteness and brightness, and is considered to be one of the best white pigments in the world.
It is widely used in paint, chemical fiber, cosmetics, paper, printing ink, plastic, rubber, food and other industries. It has a high melting point and is also used to make refractory glass, glaze, enamel, clay, high temperature resistant experimental utensils, etc.
Why add titanium dioxide to food?
Titanium dioxide is used in food pigments (E171). Like all food pigments, its technical function is to make food more visually attractive, color previously colorless food, or restore the original appearance of the food.
Why is titanium dioxide in Skittles?
Titanium dioxide is used to produce the rainbow-like hue of Skittles.
Which foods contain titanium dioxide?
Jelly, fried food, cocoa products, chocolate, chocolate products, hard candy, polished candy, gum-based candy, puffed food, candy chocolate products coating, mayonnaise, salad dressing, jam, solid drinks, konjac gel food, broth, sauces, salads and seasoning sandwiches may contain titanium dioxide.
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