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In which foods are furan and its methyl analogs present?

In a recent recommendation, the European Commission calls for the determination of furan and methylfurans. These are process contaminants that form in food during thermal treatment.
Consumers ingest furan particularly through coffee and cereal-based foods, but young children are also exposed to furan through jarred or canned ready-to-eat foods. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the commonly ingested amount of furan indicates a “health hazard”. Methylfurans (related substances to furan) also contribute to a significant portion of the total exposure.

However, due to the lack of data on the occurrence of furan and methylfurans in food, the new Commission Recommendation (EU) 2022/495 recommends the collection of additional data in this area by EU member states and food business operators. Accordingly, methods for the determination of these analytes in coffee and infant and young child foods should have a limit of quantification of no more than 20 µg/kg and 5 µg/kg, respectively.
QSI has adapted the implemented methods to the updated requirements. For baby food, we can offer you an analysis with the limit of quantification of 2 µg/kg, which enables extended risk analysis.

(11/2021) tested furan and its methyl analogs in coffee infusions. The following values were used as a criterion for devaluation (1 grade):
• 76,8 µg/L for the sum of furan, 2- and 3-methylfuran
• 3,93 µg/L for furan alone.
These are calculated values based on data from a 2017 EFSA opinion.

For coffee, in addition to the determination in roasted coffee, QSI also offers an analysis of the infusion. For the latter, a limit of quantification of 1 µg/L is achieved, allowing compliance with the Öko-Test criteria to be checked.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or for a quote – we look forward to actively supporting your company in this new challenge as well!

If you have any questions or special requirements regarding the scope we will be happy to advise you.

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