Are Chileans exposed to dietary furan?

Maria Mariotti, Carla Toledo, Karen Hevia, J. Pablo Gomez, Kit Granby, Arvid Fromberg, Jaime Rosowski, Oscar Castillo, Franco Pedreschi

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Chilean consumer preferences include foods that may contain considerable amounts of furan, a potential human carcinogen. However, there is no information regarding dietary exposure to furan in Chile. Thus, the objective of this work was to determine the Chilean exposure to dietary furan. To accomplish this objective, the furan concentration of 14 types of commercial foods processed at high temperature were analysed based on a modified headspace-GC/MS (HS-GC/MS) method in which the limits of detection for different food matrices ranged from 0.01 to 0.6 ng g−1. In addition, a risk assessment was made with exposure estimates based on dietary data from national studies on different age groups (9-monthold babies, school children, adults and elderly people). Of the food items surveyed “American”-type coffee (espresso coffee plus hot water) obtained from automatic coffee machine (936 ng g−1) and low moisture starchy products like crisps and “soda”-type crackers showed the highest furan concentrations (259 and 91 ng g−1, respectively). Furthermore, furan was also found in samples of breakfast cereals (approximately 20 ng g−1), jarred fruit baby foods (8.5 ng g−1) and orange juice (7.0 ng g−1). School children (aged 9–13 years) represented the highest intake of furan (about 500 ng kg−1 bw day−1), with margins of exposure of 2479 and 2411, respectively, which points to a possible public health risk.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Additives & Contaminants: Part A - Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure & Risk Assessment
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1715-1721
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Furan
  • Food
  • HS-GC/MS
  • Dietary exposure


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