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Data needs for a risk assessment on furan in food

Abstract : Furan is an organic, volatile molecule used in some chemical manufacturing industries. Headspace gas chromatography, the analytical method of choice, produces reliable results on its occurrence. The presence of furan in some foods was known since the late 1970ies, but the survey of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published in 2004 revealed the occurrence of furan in a broad variety of canned and jarred foods that undergo heat treatment, including baby food. Furan is clearly carcinogenic in rats and mice, showing a dose-dependent increase in hepatocellular adenomas and carcinomas. In rats, also a dose-dependent increase of mononuclear leukaemia was seen and a very high incidence of cholangiocarcinomas of the liver was present even at the lowest dose tested. There is evidence indicating that furan-induced carcinogenicity is probably attributable to a genotoxic mechanism. However, chronic toxicity with secondary cell proliferation may indirectly amplify the tumour response. From the available data it appears that there is a relative small difference between possible human exposures and the doses in experimental animals that produce carcinogenic effects. However, a reliable risk assessment would need further data on both toxicity and exposure. The European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) therefore recommended undertaking such studies as part of a reliable risk assessment on furan in food.
Mots-clés : Life Sciences
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 3:47:17 AM
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Claudia Walburga Heppner, Josef Rudolf Schlatter. Data needs for a risk assessment on furan in food. Food Additives and Contaminants, 2007, 24 (S1), pp.114-121. ⟨10.1080/02652030701408274⟩. ⟨hal-00577462⟩



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