Definition of furfural in English:



  • [mass noun] A colourless liquid used in synthetic resin manufacture, originally obtained by distilling bran.

    • ‘On the toxicity of furfural, I quoted from page 109 of the scoping report: ‘A particular chemical of concern that will be produced by the plant is furfural.’’
    • ‘This suggests that the reaction takes place in the water phase and that substituted furfurals enter this phase only with difficulty.’
    • ‘However, such conditions also result in the formation of furfurals from glucose and xylose.’
    • ‘In recent years it has been shown that reductones, furfurals and other related substances formed in heated milk are sugar fission products 1,2.’
    • ‘Upon further heating, the sucrose forms hydroxymethyl furfural, which polymerizes into a the brown pigments that give color and flavor to the brittle.’
    • ‘Glucose loses two water molecules and rearranges to form hydroxymethyl furfural, which polymerizes into brown pigments that add flavor and color to the candy.’
    • ‘The furfurals, for instance, which have a bitter flavour when originally extracted, are transformed by the yeasts into compounds which have a range of flavours from smoked meat to leather.’
    • ‘The liquor undergoes a process of further evaporation and fermentation to remove volatile compounds like methanol, furfural and ethanol.’
    • ‘Johann Doebereiner,, a German chemist accidentally discovered furfural in 1832 when he treated sugar with sulfuric acid and manganese dioxide.’
    • ‘The process occurred by electrochemical oxidation of furfural under current or potential control.’
    • ‘This research concentrates mainly on the market potential for furfural and phenolic compounds and examines some of the features of new processing technologies that offer cost advantages.’
    • ‘Aldoses generally exist in solution as pyranoses, whereas ketoses generally exist as furanoses, hence the ability of ketoses to rapidly dehydrate to yield furfurals.’


Late 19th century: from obsolete furfurol (in the same sense) + -al.