Titanium dioxide nanoparticles have been found in the white powdered sugar used by Dunkin’ Donuts to coat some of their donuts.
As You Sow, a so-called corporate responsibility advocacy group, conducted the testing.
What are the health ramifications, if any? Some health authorities contend that titanium dioxide may be toxic but the safety or lack thereof has not yet been definitively established.
Citizens for Health contends that no studies have as yet established that such nanomaterials in the food supply are safe for human consumption:
“These nanoparticles are one-millionth the size of a grain of sand, and because of their small size, they are able to go places in the body that larger particles cannot. When eaten, nano-sized titanium dioxide passes into the blood and reaches bone marrow, lymph nodes, the liver, the heart, and the brain …
“Untested nanomaterials are being used in kid-friendly food products to produce creamy liquids that contain no fat, enhance flavors, improve supplement delivery, brighten colors, and keep food fresh longer.”
“As You Sow tested 10 varieties of powdered doughnuts for the presence of nanoparticles. With the help of an independent lab, it found that Hostess Donettes and Dunkin’ Donuts Powdered Cake Donuts tested positive for the presence of titanium dioxide materials of less than 10 nanometers. Titanium dioxide is used to brighten white substances. The nano variety is under investigation by the E.P.A.
“Michelle King, a spokeswoman for Dunkin’ Donuts, said the company was working with its supplier to validate As You Sow’s findings.”
The As You Sow CEO told the Times that the organization is not calling for a ban on nanoparticles: “We’re not taking a no nano position. We’re saying just show it’s safe before you put these things into food or food packaging.”
As You Sow plans more testing on additional food products made by other manufacturers.
The US Food and Drug Administration previously declared that it lacks sufficient information to determine if nanomaterials are safe for food.
Do you think food products should be nano-free until more data becomes available?