What would candy be without its bright colors? Surprisingly, a somewhat inconspicuous color – white – is oftentimes needed to show off a candy’s vibrant colors to their best advantage. White pigments play an essential role in confectionery, particularly in hard sugar-coated dragées with their dark centers. Such pigments are used to create an opaque layer between the core of the sugar-coated dragée and the brightly colored surface. It is only thanks to the white top layer that the dragée’s bright colors can develop their full radiance.
Until now, food manufacturers have mainly used the additive titanium dioxide, also known as E171, for white color pigments. But its use has become increasingly controversial. Last summer, the European Commission banned titanium dioxide as a food additive in the EU. The substance could no longer be considered safe since it might have the ability to damage DNA and increase the risk of cancer. However, only recently, the European Court of Justice declared the EU Commission’s regulation to be inadmissible due to errors made in the assessment. So, while the debate continues in Europe and the rest of the world, food manufacturers have already started to rethink their approach.