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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program

Location: Nutrient Data

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The NDL will provide scientific and technical expertise for acquisition, evaluation, and compilation of composition data for foods and dietary supplements. NDL will develop and implement appropriate sampling strategies, define and direct the analytical program and evaluate quality of data received. Resulting data will be disseminated at regular intervals through electronic media. NDL will provide supervision of scientists, administrative support, space and additional personnel to carry out this program.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
NDL will continue to expand and improve the databases for as many as 120 components in foods and dietary supplements to assure the representativeness and timeliness of those values. Under the comprehensive National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program and work for the Dietary Supplements Ingredients Database, data for traditional components will be updated while data for emerging components will be added. These will include sodium, and specific forms of vitamins E and D and individual fatty acids. Data will be obtained through USDA-directed contracts with commercial labs and collaborative agreements with universities and other government labs. Labs will be selected in a competitive process according their use of valid methods and quality control procedures for individual components. Research concerning the variability of nutrients in specific foods and dietary supplements will be initiated. Efforts will continue to determine the appropriate methods of data dissemination in keeping with rapidly changing computer and internet technology.


3.Progress Report

This research has been conducted under the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program (NFNAP) and is supported largely by funding from USDA and nine Institutes and Offices of the NIH and the USDA. During FY11, over 1700 sample units representing over 110 different foods, including American cheese, beef, pork, and chicken cuts, pizzas (retail and restaurant), breads, canned pasta entrees, cakes, macaroni and cheese, tortilla chips, soups, a variety of fast foods, and breakfast cereals were collected from 12 locations nationwide according to a statistically-based sampling plan and shipped to laboratories for analysis. Certified reference materials and matrix-specific control materials were included with the food composites. All food samples were analyzed for up to 100 nutrients and other bioactive components. A study of sodium in American cheese, cheese product, and cheese food was conducted to generate new values; analytical values were compared to label values. These nutrient data and other NFNAP data generated by this agreement from 2010 were used to add or update 80 food items in Release 24 of the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR24). NDL scientists released the third edition of the “USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods”, which contains values for 26 predominant monomeric dietary flavonoids in five subclasses for 500 foods. The database will be useful to investigate the relationship between dietary intakes of flavonoids and health benefits through epidemiological studies. NFNAP also supported the determination of 25-OH vitamin D3 in various meat samples. LCMS/MS methodology being used by one of the NDL contractors has been validated for the analysis of samples for 25-hydroxyvitamin D in animal products.

This project has supported obtaining complete, accurate, and current data for frequently consumed Key Foods and nutrients of public health significance. NIH support for the NFNAP has enabled NDL to generate current and nationally representative data for many food items and dietary supplements in the rapidly changing marketplace. USDA’s food composition data are regarded as the foundation and benchmark for all second-generation databases concerning nutrition monitoring, nutrition research, and food policy in the U.S. Data for both foods and dietary supplements are needed to assess total nutrient intake for the U.S. population. In addition, food composition data for bioactive components are key elements in nutrition research projects which investigate the role of the intake of components in maintaining health status. Data for this project were received in monthly reports, and frequent communication with collaborators has taken place through email, periodic meetings, and conference calls.


Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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