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Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2008 Mar;25(3):259-64. doi: 10.1080/02652030701552949.

Survey of furan in heat processed foods by headspace gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and estimated adult exposure.

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  • 1Food and Drug Administration-CFSAN, College Park, MD 20740, USA. kim.morehouse@fda.hhs.gov


Furan is a suspected human carcinogen that is formed in some processed foods at low ng per g levels. Recent improvements in analytical methodology and scientific instrumentation have made it possible to accurately measure the amount of furan in a wide variety of foods. Results from analysis of more than 300 processed foods are presented. Furan was found at levels ranging from non-detectable (LOD, 0.2-0.9 ng g(-1)) to over 100 ng g(-1). Exposure estimates for several adult food types were calculated, with brewed coffee being the major source of furan in the adult diet (0.15 microg kg(-1) body weight day(-1)). Estimates of mean exposure to furan for different subpopulations were calculated. For consumers 2 years and older, the intake is estimated to be about 0.2 microg kg(-1) body weight day(-1).

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