The questionability and harmlessness of single ingredients for food applications have become crucial questions in the worldwide food industry. This subject equally concerns the foodstuff manufacturers, the consumers and the respective national or international health regulatory bodies.
An example of this health debate is provided by the present discussion around the use or rejection of titanium dioxide (TiO2) as an industrially produced colour pigment for confectioneries. This question also tackles the potential problem that could arise from TiO2 nanoparticles set free by-products; an exposition to or inhalation of such nanoparticles could possibly be hazardous for human health. In the case of titanium dioxide as a white pigment for candies, the risks are connected merely with the first aspect as confectioneries are consumed in the form of finished products.
In any case TiO2 dioxide, as a nanomaterial, has come under a cross-fire of criticisms throughout many countries in the past few years and its use as a colouring agent or pigment in food applications is now stamped as a problematic factor. Studies have been carried out by universities and laboratories and, despite a remaining uncertainty as to the safety status of TiO2, potential toxicological risks are not excluded.
Confectionery manufacturers react to this potential threat by an intensified search for alternatives in order to keep on the safe side with regards to the components of their panned goods (dragees).
Quick White is Norevo’s whitening agent that belongs to the confectionery performers range. It is specifically targeted onto the production of white or light-coloured dragees to replace TiO2.
It is a fine, white powder mix that is based on sugar and hydrocolloid. Quick White, as a solution, is integrated into the sugar solution and later spread onto the dragee centres to stabilise them. In powder form, Quick White is mixed with crystal sugar prior to the cooking step and subsequently applied to the centres. Its coating properties allow for a stable, brilliant whiteness and a smooth centre surface.
A low application dosage enables the formation of a uniformly white-coloured coating layer around the dragee centres, which intensifies the final colour of the dragee surface. The whitening effect of this undercoating is produced by the crystalline, light-reflecting structure of Quick White that provides a bright surface whiteness already after the application of a few layers. Moreover, through its natural components, this whitening agent has the ability to improve the crunchiness of the dragee coating.
Quick White can be used in pan-coating processes either with or without cooking step. Two main advantages are provided to the dragee manufacturers: 1) a dragee recipe without the problematic declaration of TiO2 and 2) a dragee surface with an appealing gloss along with a pure and shiny white colour.
The clean label aspect of Quick White is based on the fact that it is no industrial colour pigment or synthetic colouring agent but it is a declaration-friendly, harmless and easy-to-apply whitening agent that makes dragees optically perfect and pleasantly crunchy. For dragee manufacturers, this new ingredient alternative is quite essential when it comes to use and declare natural colouring foodstuffs in their pan-coating processes, i.e. ingredient components without toxical risks for the end consumers.