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Polish Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences

The Journal of Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn

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5-Hydroxymethyl-2-Furfural (HMF) – Heat-Induced Formation, Occurrence in Food and Biotransformation – a Review

Stanisław Kowalski
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Carbohydrate Technology, University of Agriculture in Krakow, ul. Balicka 122, 30-149 Krakow, Poland
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Marcin Lukasiewicz
  • Department of Carbohydrate Technology, University of Agriculture in Krakow, ul. Balicka 122, 30-149 Krakow, Poland
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Aleksandra Duda-Chodak
  • Department of Fermentation Technology and Technical Microbiology, University of Agriculture in Krakow, ul. Balicka 122, 30–149 Krakow, Poland
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Gabriela Zięć
  • Department of Carbohydrate Technology, University of Agriculture in Krakow, ul. Balicka 122, 30–149 Krakow, Poland
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2013-11-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10222-012-0082-4


The chemical structure of 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural (HMF), its physicochemical properties and reactions that lead to the synthesis of HMF were discussed. Special attention was paid to HMF formation in food during processing. The potential applications of this compound in industry were described as well. Moreover, this review outlines the most important sources of HMF in human diet and estimates the potential daily intake of HMF by consumers. The known and suggested metabolic pathways, as well as the impact of HMF and its metabolites on human health are also discussed.

Keywords: 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural (HMF); HMF synthesis; biotransformation; HMF metabolism; impact on health; heat indicator

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-11-27

Published in Print: 2013-12-01

Citation Information: Polish Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences, Volume 63, Issue 4, Pages 207–225, ISSN (Online) 2083-6007, ISSN (Print) 1230-0322, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10222-012-0082-4.

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