Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301594

Research Project: INTEGRATED APPROACH TO PROCESS AND PACKAGE TECHNOLOGIES

Location: Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research

Title: Furan formation from fatty acids as a result of storage, gamma irradiation, UV-C and heat treatments

Author
item Fan, Xuetong

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/2/2014
Publication Date: 12/9/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/60078
Citation: Fan, X. 2014. Furan formation from fatty acids as a result of storage, gamma irradiation, UV-C and heat treatments. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. DOI:10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.12.002.

Interpretive Summary: Furan is a possible human carcinogen. The formation of furan from different foods and food ingredient due to thermal processing is well studied. However, the generation of furan as a result of nonthermal processing has not been studied. In this study, we studied the mechanisms for furan formation from different fatty acids as a result of thermal and nonthermal processing and storage. Results showed that furan was mainly produced from unsaturated fatty acids upon thermal and UV-C treatments. Furthermore, storage of unsaturated fatty acid emulsions at ambient temperature led to formation of low levels of furan even without the exposure to high temperature or UV-C. The results would help food industry to develop strategies to minimize the formation of furan from fat-containing foods, and regulatory agencies to make science-based policies.

Technical Abstract: Furan is a possible human carcinogen that has been found in many thermally processed foods. The effects of thermal processing, gamma and UV-C irradiation on formation of furan from different fatty acids was studied. In addition, formation of furan from fatty acid emulsions during storage at 25C and the effect of alpha-tocopherol, (±)6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8 tetramethylchromane-2-carboxylic acid (Trolox), propyl gallate, butyl hydroxyanisole (BHA), and FeSO4 on furan formation from linolenic acid were investigated. Results suggest that furan was generated from emulsions of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acid during thermal and UV-C treatments. Little furan was formed from stearic, palmitic, or oleic acid. Gamma irradiation did not induce formation of significant amount of furan from any of the fatty acids studied. Storage of unsaturated fatty acid emulsions at 25C led to the formation of furan even without prior thermal, UV-C or gamma irradiation treatments. During storage at 25C, furan (7-11 ng/mL) was mainly produced from linolenic acid. Also, pH significantly impacted furan formation with great than 3.5 times more furan formed at pH 9 than at pH 3 or 6 during 3 days at 25C. The addition of Trolox, BHA, and propyl gallate had no significant effect on furan formation from linolenic acid while alpha-tocopherol and FeSO4 promoted furan formation.