Read It Before You Eat It: How to Decode Food Labels and Make the Healthiest Choice Every Time Food Additives, Nutrients, and Supplements A to Z

E171 is a food additive approved by the European Union (EU). It is used as a natural colouring agent in food and drink products.

The common name for E171 is titanium dioxide.
It may also be referred to as titan white or tiox.

E171 is a white colouring used to give opacity in food products. E171 is inert (not reactive) and is also used in paint manufacture and as a paper coating. At room temperature, E171 usually has the structure of rutile (its mineral form). Titanium dioxide is extracted from the mineral ilmenite.

Although not many adverse effects have been found, E171 is suspected of acting as an irritant and possibly pollute waterways. This colouring is banned in Germany.

Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E171:

  • toothpaste
  • paint
  • vitamin supplements
  • cheese

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