Which toxic substances are in your coffee cup? Help us to assess it!

(21-04-2021) Ghent University and the University of Liège are studying our level of exposure to toxic substances present in coffee and tobacco. To do so, they have developed a survey for all coffee drinkers.

The study aims at determining the level of exposure to furan and alkylfuran. These components are mainly present in coffee and tobacco.

Take the survey. It takes about 10 minutes.

More about the study

“Furan and alkylfuran damage the genetic matter. By doing so, they could cause cancer”, Professor Bruno De Meulenaer (Ghent University) explains.

“These components are formed during the roasting of coffee beans, so they are present in our coffee cup”, Professor Claude De Saeger (Liège University and coordinator of the research project) continues. “This doesn’t necessarily mean that these components cause cancer. The level of toxicity depends on the amount. And that is what we want to find out.”

The amount of toxic components strongly depends on the kind of coffee and of the roasting process.

“If you drink a specific type of coffee, it’s possible that you absorb a lot (or less) of these components. The goal of the survey  is to estimate this level of exposure”, Professor De Meulenaer adds.

Furan and alkylfuran are also present in tobacco. That’s why the survey also includes some questions on tobacco consumption.

Take the survey!

Take the survey. It takes about 10 minutes.

The survey is open for people aged 18 or older living in Belgium, and is totally anonymous. The data are collected and analysed by the research unit on Epidemiology and Risk Analysis at Liège University.  

This study is implemented as part of a research project funded by the Federal Public Service of Health, Food chain safety and Environment.

More information