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

In Research

The University of Liège and the Ghent University are launching a large-scale survey on coffee consumption in order to assess the exposure to furans and alkylfurans of regular or occasional coffee drinkers. The survey is anonymous and is being conducted in the form of a questionnaire for people aged 18 and over living in Belgium.

Take the survey (estimated time: 10 minutes)


his survey, carried out as part of a research project funded by the Belgian Federal public service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment and coordinated by Prof. Gauthier Eppe (Molsys/ULiège), aims to analyse the level of exposure to furans and alkylfurans, toxic chemicals found in very small quantities in certain foods, such as coffee, with varying degrees of exposure depending on the form of consumption and the brand.

“Furan and alkylfuran damage the genetic matter. By doing so, they could cause cancer”, Professor Bruno De Meulenaer (UGhent) explains. “In the case of coffee, the components are formed during the roasting of the beans and end up in your cup of coffee However, this does not mean that you will get cancer, as the toxicity depends on the type of coffee and the roasting process. As a drinker of a certain type of coffee, you ingest more or less of these components. The aim of this survey is to estimate the exposure", concludes Professor Claude Saegermans (ULiège).

As these substances are also present in tobacco, the survey contains some questions on its use. The survey is completely anonymous and is addressed to all persons aged 18 or over living in Belgium. It is available in French, Dutch and English. The data submitted will be collected and analysed by the Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Research Unit (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine) of the University of Liege.


Claude Saegerman (University of Liège)

Bruno De Meulenaer (Ghent Univeristy)

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