Opaque White (Titanium Dioxide)
Titanium dioxide adds whiteness and brightness to products and also helps them resist discoloration. Titanium dioxide also reflects ultraviolet (UV) light, which is why it’s often used as an ingredient in sunscreens. Most titanium dioxide (close to 70 percent) is used as a pigment in paints, but it’s also added to cosmetics, toothpastes, pharmaceuticals, paper and food.
Candies, sweets and chewing gum have been found to contain the highest levels of titanium dioxide. White powdered doughnuts, candies and gums with hard shells, products with white icing and even bread, mayonnaise, yogurt and other dairy products may contain titanium dioxide.
As such, one analysis of exposure to titanium dioxide through foods found children receive the highest exposure levels (two to four times more than adults) because it’s so commonly added to sweets. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration actually allows manufacturers to use up to 1 percent food-grade titanium dioxide without declaring it on labels.