Specific Substances: 5-(Hydroxymethyl)-2-furfural
Nomination Date: 11/09/1994
Rationale: 5-(Hydroxymethyl)furfural (HMF) is a thermal decomposition product of sucrose, and has been identified in a wide variety of heat processed foods. HMF has mutagenic and DNA strand breaking activity. HMF promotes the growth of the aberrant crypt foci in the colon of rats initiated with azoxymethane, and also induced the development of these colon cancer precursor lesions in rats. No long term studies have been reported on HMF. HMFs mutagenicity in Salmonella is markedly enhanced by esterification of the allylic hydroxyl group to the sulfuric acid ester (5-Sulfooxy-methyfurfural).