Washington: A new study from the University of Barcelona has found that coffee made from capsules contains more furan, a carcinogenic substance, than in drip coffee makers or from other methods. Furan, like acrylamide, is one of a group of carcinogenic substances that can form when foods and drinks are subject to heat treatment. They are the result of a reaction, known as the Maillard reaction, between carbohydrates, unsaturated fatty acids and ascorbic acids or its derivatives. Concern has risen over recent years about the presence of this compound in foods, because of its toxic and carcinogenic effects in animals, as well as the fact that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has listed it as a possible carcinogen in humans.
The longer that coffee is exposed to the air in cups or jugs, meanwhile, the more the furan evaporates. The researcher stresses that, in all these cases, the levels of the substances found are within the limits considered to be "safe" to health. In order for furan ingestion to exceed the maximum acceptable values, a person would have to drink at least 20 cups of capsule coffee or 30 espressos per day (for the brands with the highest furan content), or 200 instant coffees. These estimates were made on the basis of 40 ml cups and an average body weight for coffee drinkers of around 70 Kg. The study also shows that furan concentrations are lower if coffee is roasted at low temperatures over a longer time (140 degree Celsius for 20 minutes) than in coffee roasted under usual conditions (200-220 degree Celsius for 10-15 mins). The study was published online in the Journal Food Chemistry.ANI
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