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Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Feb;48(2):644-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2009.11.046. Epub 2009 Dec 24.

Estimation of dietary intake of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and related substances from coffee to Spanish population.

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  • 1Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Instituto del Frío, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is naturally formed during food processing or cooking activities, giving its ubiquity in the Western diet. HMF could be metabolised to 5-sulfooxymethylfurfural making HMF potentially harmful in an extent unknown at present. Coffee is the main exposure source. Occurrence of HMF, 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furoic acid (HMFA) and 2-furoic acid (FA) were measured in commercial ground coffee and soluble coffee marketed in Spain. Levels of 110, 625, 1734, 2480 mg HMF/kg were obtained for natural, blend, torrefacto and soluble coffee, respectively, giving four classes significantly different. Soluble coffee showed the largest variability in HMF. Levels of HMFA and FA did not change significantly being about 600 mg/kg. Dietary exposure to HMF coffee to consumption in the total Spanish population was estimated to be 8.57 mg/day by using a deterministic approach. However, median level was recalculated to 5.26 mg HMF/day when specific contribution of each type of ground and soluble coffee in the consumption habits was considered. Resultant value is above of the threshold of concern (1600 microg HMF/day, mTAMDI). A level of 8.57 mg HMF/day in persons with high consumption habits (95th percentile) was calculated for risk assessment.

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