September 23/Ghent, Belgium/Chemical & Chemistry -- Investigators publish new data in the report "Importance of Fat Oxidation in Starch-based Emulsions in the Generation of the Process Contaminant Furan." "The formation of the possibly carcinogenic process contaminant furan was studied in starch-based emulsions during heat treatments as applied for sterilization. Fresh and oxidized soybean, sunflower, high-oleic sunflower, olive, linseed, and rapeseed oils were compared," scientists in Ghent, Belgium, report.
"Results indicated that both the oil type, in particular, the fatty acid composition, and the oxidation degree of the oil determined the susceptibility of the oils to generate furan upon heating. Thus, oils containing the nutritionally relevant omega-3 unsaturated alpha-linolenic acid proved to be able to generate significant amounts of furan if the oils were oxidized. No clear relationship between p-anisidine values of various oils and the amount of generated furan could be observed. However, in the case of soybean oil, significantly more furan was produced upon an increase in oxidation degree," wrote A. Owczarek-Fendor and colleagues, Ghent University.
The researchers concluded, "Surprisingly, furan formation in food-relevant systems containing fresh lipids proved to be a minor route (up to 1.5 ppb furan) compared to a previously studied vitamin C containing model system (up to 13 ppb furan)."
Owczarek-Fendor and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry ("Importance of Fat Oxidation in Starch-based Emulsions in the Generation of the Process Contaminant Furan." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2010;58(17):9579-86).
For more information, contact A. Owczarek-Fendor, nutriFOODchem unit, Dept. of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure links 653, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.
From the October 4, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition