Press Releases

Furan Study Misleading

Misleading Study on Furans and High Fructose Corn Syrup

May 14, 2010

CONTACT: David Knowles
(202) 331-1634

WASHINGTON, DC – A recent study entitled “Furan formation during UV-treatment of fruit juices” issued by Food Chemistry misleads consumers and unnecessarily causes alarm.

“The authors completely ignored the realities of sweetener science: any caloric sweetener substituted for high fructose corn syrup in a sweetened fruit juice would likely produce comparable levels of furans, including the two simple sugars found in apple juice and apple cider,” stated Audrae Erickson, president, Corn Refiners Association.

“It is important to note that high fructose corn syrup is not commonly added to apple juice or apple cider,” Erickson continued.

Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that “furan levels alone do not equate to furan exposure; calculating exposure requires consideration of both furan levels, and the amounts of food that consumers eat.” The agency also notes that their estimates of consumer exposure to furan is “well below what FDA expects would cause harmful effects.” (Food and Drug Administration, “Exploratory Data on Furan in Food: Individual Food Products” See also “Questions and Answers on the Occurrence of Furan in Food”)

Furans can be found in a multitude of heat processed food products– many of which do not contain high fructose corn syrup. To conclude that high fructose corn syrup is not a safe additive is not supported by the authors’ own experiments.

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CRA is the national trade association representing the corn refining (wet milling) industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil, and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein, and fiber.

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