Titanium Dioxide In Food Should You Be Concerned
From dyes to flavorings, many people are becoming increasingly aware of the ingredients in their food.
One of the most widely used food pigments is titanium dioxide, an odorless powder that enhances the white color or opacity of foods and over-the-counter products, including coffee creamers, candies, sunscreen, and toothpaste .
Variations of titanium dioxide are added to enhance the whiteness of paint, plastics, and paper products, though these variations differ from the food-grade ones for things we eat (
Still, you may wonder whether its safe for consumption.
This article reviews the uses, benefits, and safety of titanium dioxide.
Titanium dioxide has many purposes in both food and product development.
Artificial Colourings In Dog Food
As any parent will testify, certain foods can have a dramatic effect on a child’s behaviour. As early as the 1950’s, artificial colourings were being linked with behavioural issues amongst other health problems in people and several recent scientific trials have shown a clear link between food additives and ADD and hyperactivity in children. Unfortunately, the effects of these ingredients seem to be exactly the same for our dogs with reduced attention spans and hyperactivity regularly reported.
Common artificial colourings found in dog foods include sunset yellow, tartrazine, ponceau 4r, patent blue V and titanium dioxide, although they may also be listed by their E numbers or simply as ‘colourings’. They are often derived from petroleum products and often persist in the environment for many years or even decades.
It is also worth mentioning that most studies indicate that dogs are largely colourblind so the only role of the colourings is to appeal to the owner and not to the dog.
What Is Titanium Dioxide And Why It’s In Your Food
One of these additives is titanium dioxide , an odorless powder that enhances the bright white color or opacity of foods. It’s often found in chewing gum, candies, pastries, chocolates, coffee creamers, and cake decorations. It’s also used in food packaging to preserve the shelf life of a product. But, should you be concerned about consuming it?
Though the Food and Drug Administration categorizes titanium dioxide as “Generally Recognized as Safe,” other organizations have issued warnings. Keep reading to learn more about this common food additive, what it’s used for, and how it may impact your health.
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Red Yellow And Blue Food Coloring
You will usually find a number after the color, like Red 40, for example. A little food coloring isnt going to hurt, but its been linked to issues like hyperactivity in children and even containing a carcinogen. As mentioned above, there is no reason to add color to cat food. Even if the risk is tiny, food coloring is still absolutely unnecessary.
Meat Not Fit For Human Consumption
Pet food companies can include processed meat that would not be suitable for humans in cat and dog diets. This meat can come from diseased and/or disabled animals, animals that died before slaughter, cancerous tissue, spoiled carcasses, euthanized animals, road kill and animal species not typically used as food. To avoid this type of meat, feed only pet foods from companies that use human-grade ingredients and have specific types of meat listed on their labels. The following ingredients are examples of products that contain meat and other animal products from questionable sources:
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Where Do You Go From Here
Titanium dioxide is a widely used additive in food, cosmetics, medication, and supplement products that are commonly used in the western world. Based on the scientific literature and lack of proper safety analysis, you should take caution2 when seeing this compound listed on a product.
As always, it is important to read ingredient lists even in so called health foods, supplements and drugs to ensure your products dont contain this potential cancer causing additive.
Manufacturers do respond to public pressure. Earlier this year the giant food chain Dunkin Donuts announced that it was eliminating nano-titanium dioxide from its powdered sugar donuts.1 This shows that some manufacturers are aware of titanium dioxide dangers and are willing to eliminate this ingredient when pushed to do so.
Please help bring more awareness about titanium dioxide as a common cancer causing additive by sharing this article with your friends and family below. And if you want to be notified when other great articles are added .
Titanium Dioxide Particles Promote Inflammation
Titanium dioxide particles have been linked to increased oxidative stress.4 Oxidative stress is a condition characterized by free radical damage within the body that causes cellular instability and chronic inflammation. This state of high oxidative stress stimulates cellular and DNA damage and is a major player in the formation of cancer cells and other chronic disease states.
These nano-sized titanium dioxide particles are able to slip through the gut lining and into the blood stream. They are also able to escape the immune systems natural defenses and are able to float around in the blood stream and interfere with key biological functions.
A growing body of evidence supports that 500 nm sized titanium dioxide particles can be absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and stored in organs such as the liver and spleen. Smaller particles had detectable damage to not only neighboring organs of the digestive tract, but also to the brain.4
Findings have shown that titanium dioxide exposure increases free radical stress, reactive oxygen species formation, and chronic inflammation throughout the body.4 This process may promote cell proliferation and deactivate normal cell apoptosis processes that control cancer cell development.
The presence of a protein known as PAD appears to be induced when in the presence of titanium dioxide particles. PAD is present in cellular conditions exhibiting increased oxidative stress and inflammation.9
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What Are The Best Dog Food Ingredients
A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to the ingredients in your dogs food is that if you dont know what it is, it probably isnt good for him.
If the ingredients list starts with something you havent heard of or if you have any reason to question whether it is a high-quality ingredient, you are better off choosing something else.
An easier way to look at it is, if a high-quality source of animal protein isnt at the top of the list, dont buy it. Dogs need a lot of protein in their diet because they are primarily carnivorous animalstheir bodies simply arent biologically adapted to digesting plant foods.
Unless your dog has a specific allergy, any kind of animal protein like meat, poultry, or fish makes for an excellent first ingredient. And dont worry if the protein name is followed by the word mealthis simply means that the fresh meat has been cooked to remove moisture and it means that the ingredient is a very highly-concentrated source of protein.
In addition to plenty of high-quality proteins, healthy animal-based fats are also valuable additions to a high-quality diet. Fat provides your dog with a concentrated source of energy as well as omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.
Lastly, if you really want to go for premium recipes, you might want to check out formulations made with human-grade ingredients or organic ones. These are some of the safest and healthiest you can feed your pooch.
Hills Healthy Advantage Canned Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Hills Healthy Advantage Dog Food looks like an average canned product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the products meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Hills Healthy Advantage is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meat as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and their fat-to-protein ratios.
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The Synthetic Whitening Agent Is Found In Many Pet Foods And Treats
Titanium dioxide is a synthetic color additive that is permitted in foods in the U.S., European Union and elsewhere. It is a durable pigment that provides background whitening to a host of products: everything from plastics and paints to cosmetics, sunscreens, oral care products and even food. For foods
What Happens If My Dog Eats Sunscreen
Generally, the primary reported issue for a pet who has ingested sunscreen is gastrointestinal upset occasionally, those signs may be severe and include diarrhea, bloody vomiting, and potentially dehydration. Sunscreen generally contains two primary ingredients you should know about: salicylates and zinc oxide.
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Pet Food Laced With Common Chemical Now Ruled ‘unsafe’ Should Be Avoided Warns Vet
Experts say it can affect the DNA of the animals who consume it , causing chromosomal damage
A vet is urging the public to check the labels of the dog food they use for a chemical no longer considered safe to be injested by pets.
Dr Karen Becker, who describes herself as The Common Sense Vet, has shared her concerns on social media, warning families about products she says they should avoid.
Titanium dioxide has been used for years in the pet food industry. It has no benefit to dogs and is used instead to turn pet food white in order to create a uniform base for added colour, ensuring a more palatable and consistent look for the human doling out the dog food.
But now it is feared it may potentially affect the DNA of the animals who consume it, causing chromosomal damage.
The chemical is used to disguise the undesirable colour of proteins, grains, and vegetables in pet food bases. But a recent assessment by the European Food Safety Authority has raised a red flag over titanium dioxide, stating it should not be consumed by pets.
Vet Karen said: A chemical, Titanium Dioxide, used in top-selling pet foods, treats, and supplements should no longer be considered safe for consumption due to concerns over its ability to damage DNA, according to a new animal-model study.
What Happens If A Dog Licks Sunscreen
When small amounts of human sunscreens are ingested by dogs or cats the most likely symptom is self-limiting vomiting,and diarrhoea due to stomach irritation and nausea. However, if large quantities of sunscreen are ingested the symptoms will vary depending upon the component chemicals in the product.
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What Is Titanium Dioxide
Titanium dioxide is a powder thatâs also used as a white pigment in a variety of products such as sunscreens, cosmetics, paints, and plastics. The pigment grade is also known as titanium white, pigment white 6, or CI 77891 it is the whitest and brightest of all known pigments.
Titanium dioxide can boost and brighten white opacity because of how well it scatters light. In food and drugs, this additive is known as E171 and helps define colors clearly and can prevent UV degradation .
You can find titanium dioxide in food products like candy, coffee creamer, baking and cake decorations, and white sauces. E171 is often used to give a natural whiteness and opacity to foods, helping make them better-looking.
Sweeteners And Artificial Flavours
Foods made with natural, high-quality ingredients taste good. Foods that are low-quality or highly processed are unappetizing, so many companies add flavourings to their products to make them appealing to dogs and cats. These flavourings often provide empty calories, and some of them are potentially dangerous to pets. Some common flavourings used in pet foods include the following:
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Does Titanium Dioxide Cause Cancer
Some people have concerns about the safety of titanium dioxide because of reports linking it to cancer.
But that depends on how titanium dioxide is being used and how you might come into contact with it. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified titanium dioxide as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on studies that showed more lung tumors in rats associated with breathing in titanium dioxide.
Toxic Ingredient In Pet Food & Treats
You may have heard us talking about titanium dioxide and we want to make sure everyone knows to not only watch for this ingredient, but also avoid it and be sure you’re not feeding it to the furry guys!
Titanium dioxide is a whiting agent that “should no longer be considered safe for consumption due to concerns over its ability to damage DNA” as per the European Food Safety Authority . The very heartbreaking truth is some of the most popular pet food and treats on the market today contain this lethal ingredient. Brands that are using this ingredient may not use it in all of their formulas so it’s critical we check the labels to make sure we’re never feeding anything containing titanium dioxide.
If you’re feeding any food or treats from:
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It Is Exceptionally Challenging To Replace Tio2 Across All Applications
So how challenging it is to replace titanium dioxide in food products?
The go-to white pigment used in everything from gum and candies to pastries, chocolates, coffee creamers, cake decorations, fillings, sauces, pet food and powdered soft drinks, titanium dioxide has excellent heat, light, pH, and water-activity stability, said Rigg.
It is exceptionally challenging to replace TiO2 across all applications. Titanium dioxide is an excellent whitening pigment and is also quite cost effective. He also noted that there is no single product that can replace it across every application, prompting Sensient to develop a range of alternatives from a variety of sources with specific applications in mind.
None of the Avalanche options use synthetic ingredients, but not all Avalanche products use the same base. It depends on whether opacity or whiteness is needed and also on regulatory status. In the US and Canada, many Avalanche options are color systems and can be labeled vegetable juice for example.
Over the past several years, we have continued to add and improve the suite of Avalanche solutions. For high-water activity applications, we do have alternatives that work quite well. We find the greatest challenge is in high heat retort applications.
Is Titanium Dioxide Safe For Dogs To Eat
There is some debate over whether or not titanium dioxide is safe for dogs to eat. Some people argue that it is a safe and inert compound that is used in many products including human food. Others argue that it is a potentially harmful compound that can cause health problems in dogs.The jury is still out on this issue but it is important to be informed about the potential risks before feeding your dog anything that contains titanium dioxide. If you are concerned about the safety of titanium dioxide you can always talk to your veterinarian to get their professional opinion.
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Food Preservation And Packaging
Titanium dioxide is added to some food packaging to preserve the shelf life of a product.
Packaging containing this additive has been shown to decrease ethylene production in fruit, thus delaying the ripening process and prolonging shelf life .
Furthermore, this packaging has been shown to have both antibacterial and photocatalytic activity, the latter of which reduces ultraviolet exposure .
Alternative Opacity And Whitening Solutions To Titanium Dioxide
Our Avalanche portfolio addresses the need for an alternative whitening and opacifying solution to titanium dioxide in the pet food category. The Avalanche Xtra line is a cost-effective alternative that works well in most extruded pet products, but whats been missing from our portfolio is a solution that survives the extended high heat retort process used in most canned pet foods.
We work tirelessly to address gaps in the natural color industry, and I am excited to announce a new Avalanche solution for wet and canned pet food developers. They now have a clean label opacifying and whitening agent for innovation in mid-to-high water activity pet applications that is grain-free.
Introducing, Avalanche Ultra MB
Designed to withstand the harsh conditions of retort processing while maintaining viscosity and texture of the final product, Avalanche Ultra MB has moved into the rankings as our most successful and cost-effective titanium dioxide alternatives for these type of applications. Avalanche Ultra MB is optimized for retort processing, but we also expect to see improvements in dry kibble applications.
We encourage pet developers who previously have not been able to find a suitable alternative solution to titanium dioxide for their application to try Avalanche Ultra MB.
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Is This Popular Additive Lurking In Your Cupboard
Titanium dioxide is a common additive in a number of food and cosmetic products. Although titanium dioxide is found in nature, the particle is a metal that is attracted to impurities. Manufacturers process titanium dioxide through a chemical process to remove impurities and create a white powder.1 Its industrial applications are a result of its whitening effects, lack of odor, good absorbency, and anti-caking properties.2
The most significant usage for titanium dioxide is as a pigment to color and thicken paints.1, 3 It is also found in sunscreen, supplements, and medications, particularly those that come in a white tablet form. Additionally it is used as a coloring agent in foods such as the white powder on donuts and other pastries.1, 4
Here are some of the foods that may have titanium dioxide. Be sure to check the ingredient lists of foods in both your pantry and fridge4:4, 5
- Condiments including mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish cream, and vinegar
- Nut spreads such as almond and peanut butter
- Confectionery sugar
- Dairy drinks including chocolate milk, eggnog, kefir, or whey-based drinks
- Prepared foods such as potato and macaroni salad, and foods containing battered fish or poultry
- Processed snacks such as Twinkies and powdered donuts
- Although not a food, oral supplements can also contain titanium dioxide