Furan: A critical heat induced dietary contaminant

María S. Mariotti, Kit Granby, Jaime Rozowski, Franco Pedreschi

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review


The presence of furan in a broad range of heat processed foods (0-6000 μg kg-1) has received considerable attention due to the fact that this heat induced contaminant is considered as a "possible carcinogenic compound to humans". Since a genotoxic mode of action could be associated with furan-induced tumor formation, current human exposure levels to this contaminant may indicate a risk to human health and the necessity for its mitigation. This review summarizes and focuses on the main issues of furan toxicity, human dietary exposure to furan and mechanisms of furan formation. Additionally, the role of some critical factors such as heating conditions, pH and matrix microstructure are discussed in order to propose some potential methodologies for furan mitigation in a wide range of heated foods. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFood & Function
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1001-1015
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Health risks
  • Organic pollutants
  • Thermal processing (foods)
  • Aromatic compounds

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