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23 - 01 - 2017

The E171 toxicological evaluation

E171 is the code name for titanium dioxide as a food additive. This substance exists in various forms, including nanoparticles or ultra fines particles (particles of 10 to 60 nanoparticles). In that form, E171 has been classified as a possible human carcinogen by the International Centre for Research on Cancer when it is inhaled.

A study carried out by INRA researchers in rats as part of the NANOGUT project has shown that E171 in this form and administered orally was absorbed by the intestine, disrupted the immune system and promoted early stages of colorectal carcinogenesis. This is new evidence to add to the risk assessment for humans.