A study conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has deemed that titanium dioxide, an additive found in more than 3,000 ultra-processed foods, including Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, Jello, and Little Debbie snack cakes, may cause cell mutations and damage DNA.
This conclusion came after the review of hundreds of scientific studies. Titanium dioxide is a synthetic white pigment used to color processed foods. It’s extracted through a chemical process that utilizes sulfate or fluoride.
Titanium dioxide consists of nanoparticles that not only exist in certain food products but also topicals, such as sunscreen that we put on our skin. The additive has the ability to give foods a smooth texture on the tongue, Arizona State University professor Paul Westerhoff said.