2009 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 initiated the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program (NFNAP) to support the update and expansion of the NNDB. This 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. FALCC maintains 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 2009, FALCC prepared and shipped to laboratories for analysis approximately 525 composites of food samples, representing over 100 foods and over 1,500 sample units. These composites include ground turkey, sushi and fast-food chicken items; flaxseed oil and margarines; beverages; snacks and crackers; mushrooms; selected Latino retail and restaurant foods; Native American foods; and meals from local Chinese restaurants. 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 food and QC materials. In addition, FALCC established procedures for the analysis of vitamin C for use with freshly prepared produce composites. FALCC continued to serve contracctor for a sub-contract with Heartland Assays to assay vitamin D content of selected foods. This agreement with FALCC is monitored on a regular basis through phone conferences, emails and weekly status reports.