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Evaluation of the content of TiO2 nanoparticles in the coatings of chewing gums Part A Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment

Dudefoi, William, Terrisse, Hélène, Popa, Aurelian Florin, Gautron, Eric, Humbert, Bernard, Ropers, Marie-Hélène
Food additives & contaminants 2018 v.35 no.2 pp. 211-221
Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, atomic absorption spectrometry, calcium carbonate, chemical composition, chewing gum, coatings, crystal structure, exposure scenario, nanoparticles, talc, titanium dioxide, transmission electron microscopy
Titanium dioxide is a metal oxide used as a white pigment in many food categories, including confectionery. Due to differences in the mass fraction of nanoparticles contained in TiO₂, the estimated intakes of TiO₂ nanoparticles differ by a factor of 10 in the literature. To resolve this problem, a better estimation of the mass of nanoparticles present in food products is needed. In this study, we focused our efforts on chewing gum, which is one of the food products contributing most to the intake of TiO₂. The coatings of four kinds of chewing gum, where the presence of TiO₂ was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy, were extracted in aqueous phases. The extracts were analysed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction, Fourier Transform Raman spectroscopy, and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) to establish their chemical composition, crystallinity and size distribution. The coatings of the four chewing gums differ chemically from each other, and more specifically the amount of TiO₂ varies from one coating to another. TiO₂ particles constitute the entire coating of some chewing gums, whereas for others, TiO₂ particles are embedded in an organic matrix and/or mixed with minerals like calcium carbonate, talc, or magnesium silicate. We found 1.1 ± 0.3 to 17.3 ± 0.9 mg TiO₂ particles per piece of chewing gum, with a mean diameter of 135 ± 42 nm. TiO₂ nanoparticles account for 19 ± 4% of all particles, which represents a mass fraction of 4.2 ± 0.1% on average. The intake of nanoparticles is thus highly dependent on the kind of chewing gum, with an estimated range extending from 0.04 ± 0.01 to 0.81 ± 0.04 mg of nano-TiO₂ per piece of chewing gum. These data should serve to refine the exposure scenario.