The manufacturers of processed snack foods know that people want to eat colorful foods, like found "in nature," (ie. snow, rice, potatoes, cauliflower). We've come to expect a certain look for birthday cakes and chewing gum.
Safety of Ti02
According to the FDA, Ti02 is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) when a food product contains less than 1% of Ti02. The FDA calls Ti02 a "mica-based pearlescent pigment," and allows it in all kinds of foods.
One set of FDA rules allows Ti02 to be used in "cordials, liqueurs, flavored alcoholic malt beverages, wine coolers, cocktails, non-alcoholic cocktail mixers and mixes, and in egg decorating kits for coloring shell eggs." Another set of regulations give the OK for Ti02 in ANY food as long as it does not exceed 1% of the total weight of the food, and is labeled accordingly.
Luckily for Big Food, the FDA does not require anyone to label added colors unless they fall under a special category, so we end up with ingredient lists that look like this:
Ingredients: Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Palm Oil, Corn Starch, Water, High Maltose Corn Syrup, Palm Kernel Oil. Contains 2% or less of: Nonfat Milk, Salt, Distilled Monoglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Color (yellow lakes 5 & 6, red lake 40, blue lakes 1 & 2, yellows 5 & 6 and other color added), Modified Cellulose, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Soy Lecithin, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid. Freshness Preserved by Potassium Sorbate.
So where's the Ti02 in Betty Crocker's Rainbow Chip frosting? Probably here:
Color (yellow lakes 5 & 6, red lake 40, blue lakes 1 & 2, yellows 5 & 6 and other color added)
Ti02 is hidden in your