Titanium Dioxide Free Coating: A Consumer Inspired Innovation
he Evolution of Titanium Dioxide
Titanium dioxide is a fine, white powder that was initially discovered in 1821 (1). It was found that titanium dioxide could add a layer of white colouring to products due to its light scattering properties. 95 years later, in 1916 titanium dioxide began to be thoroughly utilised, as it was mass-produced for a variety of different industry and consumer-based products that require white opacity and brightness including, paints, fabrics, cosmetics, toothpaste, sunscreen and complementary medicine tablets (2).
Now in the present day, the dependency on titanium dioxide is diminishing as new industry innovations are influencing complementary medicine brands and manufacturers to use alternate options. Consumer demands are placing a higher priority on products that are made without the titanium dioxide coatings to make their products more streamlined. This is a response to the changing needs and wants of consumers and industry bodies, which are placing a greater value on constructing a more transparent and cleaner product.
Why are Titanium Dioxide Free Coatings Important?
The rise of titanium dioxide-free coatings has mainly been driven by the modern consumer placing a greater priority on their health and wellbeing. Hence the need for clean-label ingredients such as natural or titanium dioxide-free colouring agents has become more crucial, as it can be utilised not just from a sales perspective but from a brand perspective. Titanium dioxide-free coating helps to position your brand as a cleaner and modern business (3).
Hence the need for titanium dioxide-free coatings will only continue to rise, as this new wave of health-conscious consumers are pushing companies and industry leaders to develop and formulate products that meet their higher standards. This change in consumer values comes attached with new challenges, but also new opportunities to adopt innovations and better serve this emerging consumer segment by targeting gaps in the market created by outdated industry norms (3).
Key Factors Driving the Titanium Dioxide Free Coating Trend
Empowered by the Clean Label Revolution
If you haven't read our Clean Label blog, you may not recognise the level of influence that Clean Label products have on the modern consumer's mindset. In essence, the Clean Label ideology is a worldwide undertaking that aims to make a more wholesome product by stripping away all the unnecessary chemical elements and additives (4). This benefits the consumer by providing them with a safer and risk-free mindset when choosing and consuming the product. Titanium dioxide-free coatings are further empowered by this movement, as it helps to remove extra elements in tablets, which thanks to industry innovations, are no longer needed, creating a more transparent and cleaner end product.
COVID-19 and the Healthy Consumer
As alluded to earlier, modern consumers are more geared towards improving their general health, to the point that it has started to influence their purchasing decisions. This is the extent that consumers are willing to pay more for a product if they know it will provide a greater benefit to their wellbeing. This philosophy has only been accelerated by the COVID-19 threat, as since the original pandemic, there has been an increase in social media activity regarding supplements and general wellness with topics like immunity support, anti-inflammation and "wellness" booster, increasing its social media volume by 4.6, 2.8 and 1.8 times respectively (5). Therefore it is more critical than ever to ensure your products are positioned toward wellbeing and including a titanium dioxide-free coating product in your catalogue is a possible avenue to align your brand with this new "consumer health first" mindset.
Product Benefits of Titanium Dioxide Free Coating
Improved Competitive Advantage
One of the most significant advantages of introducing a new innovative product to your catalogue is that it helps develop a point of difference, not just to your product range, but also to your company brand. This further develops your company's competitive advantage, both in a differential and a resource sense (6). As titanium dioxide-free coating greater diversifies your resource base and ensures your products have a more prominent unique selling benefit than your competition while also improving your visibility within your desired market with this distinction.
Ability to Enter More Markets
The rise of Titanium Dioxide free coatings has led many domestic and local regulators to question the need to use titanium dioxide. This is prominently addressed within Europe, where the European Food Safety Authority has plans to completely ban Titanium Dioxide in food, which may lead to future action taken on supplements (7). Additionally, France has already banned the sale of food products containing titanium dioxide (8). Therefore the inclusion of Titanium Dioxide free coatings can help bypass these restrictions and further extend the worldwide reach of your brand.
Titanium Dioxide today is still a viable and effective additive to complementary medicine tablet manufacturing, but with shifting consumer values putting pressure on the complementary medicine industry, the need for titanium dioxide-free coatings will only rise in the upcoming years. Therefore it will be interesting to see how the companies and brands will further innovate and evolve to meet these needs.
Lipa is proud to offer titanium dioxide-free coating solutions in over 20 different colours and shades, some of which are displayed below. Be sure to inquire about our titanium dioxide-free coating solution for your next product by clicking here. If you enjoyed reading this blog, please consider joining our mailing list to ensure you keep up to date with the latest health and complementary medicine news and information.
1. Webexhibits, n.d. Pigments through the Ages - History - Titanium Dioxide Whites. [online] Webexhibits.org. Available at: <http://www.webexhibits.org/pigments/indiv/history/tiwhite.html>[Accessed 1 December 2021].
2. Safety Facts, C., 2021. Titanium Dioxide | Use, Benefits, and Chemical Safety Facts. [online] ChemicalSafetyFacts.org. Available at: <https://www.chemicalsafetyfacts.org/titanium-dioxide/> [Accessed 1 December 2021].
3. SEPPIC, n.d. Titanium dioxide free formulation. [online] SEPPIC. Available at: <https://www.seppic.com/en/titanium-dioxide-free-formulation> [Accessed 1 December 2021]
4. Biogrund, n.d. The Clean Label Definition for Food Supplements - Biogrund. [online] Biogrund. Available at: https://www.biogrund.com/clean-label-definition/?lang=en [Accessed 8 June 2021].
5.Evans, A., Santos, E. and Ford, M., 2020. Impact of COVID-19 on Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements | L.E.K. Consulting. [online] Lek.com. Available at: <https://www.lek.com/insights/ei/impact-covid-19-vitamins-minerals-and-supplements> [Accessed 1 December 2021].
6. Editorial Team, I., 2021. What Is Competitive Advantage, and Why Is It Important?. [online] Indeed.com. Available at: <https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/what-is-competitive-advantage-and-why-is-it-important> [Accessed 1 December 2021].
7. Van Vooren, B., Reijgwart, C. and Oerter, S., 2021. EU Plans Ban on Titanium Dioxide in Food | Inside EU Life Sciences. [online] Inside EU Life Sciences. Available at: <https://www.insideeulifesciences.com/2021/08/06/eu-plans-ban-on-titanium-dioxide-in-food/> [Accessed 1 December 2021].
8. USDA, 2019. France: France Bans Titanium Dioxide in Food Products by January 2020. [online] USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Available at: <https://www.fas.usda.gov/data/france-france-bans-titanium-dioxide-food-products-january-2020> [Accessed 1 December 2021].