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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

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The Nutrient Data Laboratory (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 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 to 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 initated. 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 NFNAP and is supported largely by funding from USDA and multiple Institutes and Offices of the NIH, FDA and the USDA. During FY2013, over 2,600 sample units representing 74 unique foods were collected from 12 locations nationwide, according to a statistically-based sampling plan, and shipped to laboratories for analysis. Data generated or collected in late FY2012 and during the first half of FY2013 were used to update SR: deli meats, cheeses, onion rings, pork sausage, kielbasa, a variety of items from casual dining and full service restaurants, fast food sandwiches and commercially prepared baked products; this resulted in updates or additions for about 125 food items. Certified reference materials and matrix-specific control materials were included in the analytical batches with the food sample composites. Most food samples were analyzed for over 100 nutrients, while some were analyzed for a limited set of nutrients in order to monitor changes in sodium content. These data are included in Release 26 of the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR), scheduled for release in September, 2013.

Trans fat values for many foods reported in the What We Eat in America survey were reviewed and will be added or updated in the NDL core file of 3,200 foods used in the development of the Food and Nutrient Dataset for Dietary Studies (FNDDS). Some will be assigned an assumed “0”. Sodium values for foods which are major contributors of sodium in the American diet, due to concentration, level of consumption or both (e.g., including Sentinel Foods under Sodium Monitoring collaboration with CDC and FDA and all FNDDS foods), were reviewed and updated as warranted.

USDA’s databases on the flavonoid content of selected foods were expanded to include full profiles for six subclasses (flavanols, flavonols, flavones, flavanones and anthocyanidins plus isoflavones) for all the ~2,900 food items included in FNDDS 4.1 and used in NHANES 2007-08. Analytical values were taken from Release 3.1 of the flavonoid database and Release 2.0 of the isoflavone database. Release 3.0 of the flavonoid database was updated during FY2012 to correct a few values and add some additional food items to create Release 3.1. As part of release 3.1 individual data points used to create the mean values, along with data on the glycosides, analytical method, conversion factors (including converting individual glycosides to the aglycone form, moisture and specific gravity), and location where samples were obtained, were made available. Other values needed for the expanded database were calculated from the analytical values or assigned an assumed “0”. The data will be used in the investigation of the relationship between dietary intakes of flavonoids and health benefits through epidemiological studies.

NFNAP provided 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 found in the rapidly changing market place. 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.


Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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