Formation of furan from carbohydrates and ascorbic acid following exposure to ionizing radiation and thermal processing.
J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Oct 5;53(20):7826-31. PMID: 16190637
This study was conducted to investigate the formation of furan from sugars, ascorbic acid, and organic acids as affected by ionizing radiation and thermal treatments. Results showed that both thermal treatments and irradiation induced formation of furan from ascorbic acid, fructose, sucrose, or glucose. Little furan was produced from malic acid or citric acid. The pH and concentration of sugars and ascorbic acid solutions had profound influences on furan formation due to either irradiation or thermal treatment. The rate of irradiation-induced furan formation increased with decreasing pH from 8 to 3. Approximately 1600 times less furan was formed at pH 8 as apposed to pH 3. At the same pHs, the amounts of furan formed from irradiation of ascorbic acid, fructose, and sucrose were always higher than from glucose. As pH decreased from 7 to 3, an increase in thermally induced furan was observed for sucrose and ascorbic acid solutions, but for glucose solution, less furan was formed at pH 3 than at pH 7. The levels of sugars commonly found in fruits and fruit juices, upon irradiation, would be high enough to potentially produce low parts per billion (ppb) levels of furan. The concentration of ascorbic acid at which a maximum of furan was produced upon irradiation was about 0.5 mg/mL, a level commonly found in some foods. Five furan derivatives were tentatively identified in thermally treated ascorbic acid solution, while one furan derivative was tentatively found in both irradiated and thermally treated samples.