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22 April 2022

New EU Recommendation on monitoring the presence of furan and alkylfurans in food

Regulation

Last 28th March 2022, it was published the Recommendation (EU) 2022/495 on monitoring the presence of furan and alkylfurans in food.

Furan and alkylfurans, which include methylfurans such as 2-methylfuran, 3-methylfuran and 2,5-dimethylfuran, are process contaminants that are formed in foods during thermal processing. 

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a scientific opinion in 2017 on the risks that the presence of furan and methylfurans in food poses to public health (1). It concluded that the current levels of exposure to furan indicate a health concern. As for methylfurans, the opinion concluded that they may add significantly to the overall exposure to furan and alkylfurans and therefore increase the health concern. However, as data are lacking on the presence of methylfurans in food EFSA recommended producing additional data in this area. In particular, furan and alkylfurans have been reported to occur in coffee, jarred baby food, ready-to-eat soup, potato-based crisps, fruit juices, breakfast cereals, biscuits, crackers and crispbread. 

The EU Commission has recommended the monitoring of furan and alkylfurans in food and the data reported to EFSA.

  • Member States should, with the active involvement of food business operators, monitor furan, 2-methylfuran and 3-methylfuran in food, in particular in coffee, jarred baby food (including baby food in containers, tubes and pouches), ready-to-eat soup, potato-based crisps, fruit juices, breakfast cereals, biscuits, crackers and crispbread.
  • Member States and food business operators should follow the sampling procedures laid down in part B of the Annex to Commission Regulation (EC) No 333/2007 (2). 
  • The recommendation also fixed the method criteria to use for the analysis, including the limit of quantification (LOQ) in foods other than coffee and jarred baby food (< 5 μg/kg.) 
  • If the used method of analysis enables the determination of alkylfurans other than 2-methylfuran and 3-methylfuran, Member States and food business operators should determine those alkylfurans.

Mérieux NutriSciences has a dedicated and expert team, with many years of experience, to support food industries in the analysis of furan and alkyl furans

Contact us to know more about our services and how we can help ensuring the safety and the quality of your products.

 

Sources

  1. Risks for public health related to the presence of furan and methylfurans in food.
  2. Commission Regulation (EC) No 333/2007blaying down the methods of sampling and analysis for the control of the levels of trace elements and processing contaminants in foodstuffsspur
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