Primary investigation of the occurrence of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) in a range of smoked food products

Laura-Artemis Bouzalakou-Butel, Pantelis Provatidis, Keith R. Sturrock, Alberto Fiore

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


    The 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is a chemical compound produced in foods through many different pathways. In the past few years, studies revealed its potential mutagenic, carcinogenic cytotoxic properties [1]. Determination of HMF started as an indicator of the extent of thermal processing and as a quality indicator. It has been identified in a variety of food products such as bread, breakfast cereals, juices, milk and honey [2]. In contrast with the other thermal processes that the formation of HMF occurs inside the product, food smoking fulfils the conditions that result to form HMF not only in the product (hot smoking), but also from the pyrolysis of the wood matrix that is used for smoking, hence contamination of the product [3][4]. Until now, there are no studies examining the relation between the smoking procedure and HMF contamination of smoked food. This study is a primary investigation using HPLC-UV to measure HMF levels in three categories of smoked food products; cheese, processed meat, and fish. HMF was discovered in all three product categories supports our prediction there is contamination from the smoke utilised in the process and production of HMF during cooking during the process. The results ranged from 1 ppb (Metsovone traditional Greek smoked cheese) to 4ppm (Hotsmoked ready to eat mackerel). Subsequently, only for smoked cheese products, was there found a correlation between HMF and phenolic compounds analysed thought SPME-GCMS. Samples that were higher in HMF concentration were also higher in syringol and cresols. It will be interesting to further explore the smoking procedure’s effect on the HMF formation together with mitigation strategies that reduce HMF formation while not altering the flavour of the smoked products.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2018
    Event13th International​ Symposium on the Maillard Reaction - La Plaza Sherbrook, Montreal, Canada
    Duration: 10 Sep 201813 Sep 2018
    Conference number: 13


    Conference13th International​ Symposium on the Maillard Reaction
    Abbreviated titleISMR 13
    Internet address


    • Maillard reaction
    • 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)
    • smoked food
    • food safety
    • syringol
    • cresol


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