Food additives & contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment

Furan formation during storage and reheating of sterilised vegetable purées.

PMID 25522980


To this day, research for furan mitigation has mostly targeted the levels of food production and handling of prepared foods by the consumer. However, part of the furan concentrations found in commercially available food products might originate from chemical deterioration reactions during storage. A range of individual vegetable purées was stored at two different temperatures to investigate the effects of storage on the furan concentrations of shelf-stable, vegetable-based foods. After 5 months of storage at 35°C (temperature-abuse conditions), a general increase in furan concentrations was observed. The furan formation during storage could be reduced by storing the vegetable purées at a refrigerated temperature of 4°C, at which the furan concentrations remained approximately constant for at least 5 months. Following storage, the vegetable purées were briefly reheated to 90°C to simulate the effect of the final preparation step before consumption. Contrary to storage, furan concentrations decreased as a result of evaporative losses. Both refrigerated storage and the reheating step prior to consumption showed the potential of mitigation measures for furan formation in vegetable-based foods (e.g. canned vegetables, ready-to-eat soups, sauces or baby foods). Next to furan, the vegetable purées were analysed for 2- and 3-methylfuran. Tomato was very susceptible to the formation of both alkylated derivatives of furan, as opposed to the other vegetables in this study. Methylfuran concentrations rapidly decreased during storage, which was contrary to the results observed for furan.