Estimation of the furan contamination across the Belgian food chain

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Scholl , Georges ; Scippo , Marie-Louise ; Eppe , Gauthier ; De Pauw , Edwin ; Saegerman , Claude (2011)

International audience; The current paper provides the estimate of the furan content in Belgian foods. The objective of the study was to achieve the best food chain coverage with a restrictive number of samples (n=496). The geographic distribution, the different market chains and labels, but also the consumption frequencies were taken into account for the sampling plan construction. Weighting factors on contamination levels, consumption frequency and diversity of food items were applied to set up the model. The very low detection capabilities (CC) of the analytical methods used (sub-ppb) allowed reporting 78.2% of the overall dataset above CC and, in particular, 96.7% for the baby food category. The highest furan levels were found in powder roasted bean coffee (1912 µg/kg) with a mean value of 756 g/kg for this category. Prepared meat, pasta and rice, breakfast cereals, soups and baby food also showed high mean furan content ranging from 16 to 43 g/kg. Comparisons with contamination surveys carried out in other countries pointed out differences for the same food group and therefore contamination levels are related to the geographical origin of food items.
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