2008 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to provide quality control, analytical services and technical expertise for USDA-initiated laboratory contracts and other laboratory projects to improve the quality of data in the National Nutrient Database.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The proposed effort will utilize multiple tasks including reference material development and handling to evaluate offerors and monitor contractors, preparation and shipment of food samples to contract laboratories to obtain analytical data, development and validation of analytical methods as coordinated with NDL, and initial processing of nutrient data from the contract laboratories. In addition, this agreement includes consultations with NDL and contract laboratories on issues of methodology, sample analysis, handling and storage, and it may include analysis of specific nutrients in selected foods.
The Nutrient Data Lab (NDL) develops and maintains the National Nutrient Databank (NNDB). NDL has initiated the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program (NFNAP) to support the update and expansion of the NNDB. This Grant Agreement with the Food Analysis Laboratory Control Center (FALCC) at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University supports the NFNAP in the analysis of selected commonly consumed foods to obtain accurate, current, and representative data for nutritional components in foods. As a result of this collaboration, FALCC leads the efforts to develop a rigorous quality control (QC) program, based on use of standard reference materials and matrix-specific control materials and on thorough documentation, to maximize reliability and accuracy of analytical data. During 2008 FALCC prepared nearly 500 composites representing 115 foods and 2290 sample units (e.g., bottles, boxes) obtained from a USDA-initiated multi-stage nationwide sampling plan. These composites included vitamin D-fortified fluid milks and orange juice, 17 species of finfish and shellfish, selected raw and processed Latino foods, restaurant foods from four national family restaurant chains, and selected fruits and vegetables. Certified reference materials and matrix-specific control materials developed and prepared by FALCC were also included with the food composites. FALCC worked with NDL to review the analytical results obtained for the foods and QC materials. In addition, FALCC has established procedures for the analysis of fatty acids with emphasis on specific trans fatty acids. Those food samples were analyzed in collaboration with various university and government laboratories as well as commercial analytical laboratories. In addition, FALCC has developed or modified methodology for the analysis of specific nutrients (e.g., vitamin C) and nutrient classes (e.g., phytosterols; folates by HPLC). Data generated from this collaboration ensure that users of USDA food composition tables can have a high level of confidence in these databases as one of the critical sources of nutrient data that will benefit human nutrition research, nutrition education, and food and nutrition policy. This agreement is monitored on a regular basis through phone conferences, emails, and weekly status reports. Five NDL scientists made a site visit to FALCC in June 2008.