EUROPE – Commodity trading and food ingredient supplier ADM has presented a new alternative to the contentious food whitener titanium dioxide.  

Unveiled under new line of PearlEdge proprietary white color solutions, the new ingredient is derived from natural sources, including native corn starch. 

It reportedly delivers a brilliant, stable and uniform white coloring for a variety of food and beverage applications. 

It is expected to fill a “vital white space” in the market as global manufacturers move toward phasing out titanium dioxide (E171) from formulations. 

PearlEdge is ideal for use in confectionery; powdered drink mixes and beverages; bakery icings and fillings; and sugar-free offerings. 

It can also be used in soups, sauces, and dressings; dairy and dairy alternatives; meat alternatives; and pet food. 

“Our patent-pending technology and proprietary formulas provide brands with stable, crisp white colors derived from natural sources for an array of categories,” says Hélène Moeller, vice president, Global Product Marketing at ADM 

“PearlEdge Silk and Satin’s patent-pending technology enables a similar intensity of white color as titanium dioxide, while also helping to provide stability and improved texture,” she adds.  

She further notes that the new alternative to titanium dioxide can also function as an important base color for confections, to help overlayed colors pop. 

“This rollout meets the evolving needs of customers and consumers, as brands look for titanium dioxide replacements that not only provide a bright white shade, but also meet clean-label targets.” 

These developments are timely as manufacturers across Europe are racing to replace titanium dioxide in product development, in line with a new far-reaching EU ban similar to France’s 2020 barring of the additive. 

“We anticipate other markets [outside the EU] will follow suit,” says Moeller. “In fact, the State of California [US] has discussed adding titanium dioxide to its Proposition 65 rules, and we believe other regulatory bodies will take a closer look based on the EU’s lead.” 

Developing an alternative to titanium dioxide has mostly been an elusive affair but recent advances in technology have enabled progress in this area. 

Most recently, ingredient producer Blue California launched clean label whitening agents as an alternative to the potentially carcinogenic titanium dioxide. 

Another example is Lonza’s Vcaps Plus White Opal, its first commercially-available titanium dioxide-free semi-opaque capsule for food supplements. 

Other solutions, such as Norevo’s Quick White, function by physically manipulating its ingredient’s crystal structure to reflect light in a special way that creates the color white effect. 

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