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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Coordination of Food Sample Preparation and Analytical Quality Assurance for USDA Contracts (Cdc)

Location: Nutrient Data

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to provide analytical quality control, analytical services and technical expertise and coordination for USDA-initiated laboratory contracts and other laboratory projects to improve the quality of data in the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The effort will incorporate multiple tasks to include reference material procurement and handling; evaluation and monitoring of analytical 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 consultation regarding quality control of nutrient data obtained 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 food matrices and research to improve methodology or address quality control.


3.Progress Report:

The Nutrient Data Laboratory (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 agreement with the Food Analysis Laboratory Control Center (FALCC) at Virginia Tech supports the NFNAP in the analysis of selected commonly consumed foods to obtain accurate, current and representative data for nutritional components. 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 FY13 FALCC received approximately 1100 sample units representing about 30 different foods, including ethnic breads, onion rings, cheese spread, fast food items (submarine sandwiches, hamburger sandwiches, nachos, and burritos, and stuffed pizza), rice pudding, and pound cake. FALCC laboratory staff prepared and shipped to analytical laboratories approximately 300 composites for analysis along with certified reference materials and matrix-specific control materials developed and prepared by FALCC. FALCC worked with NDL to review the analytical results obtained for the food and QC materials. In addition, FALCC analyzed selected food samples for fatty acids (11 samples), cholesterol (130 samples) vitamin C (45 samples), and folate isomers (5 samples).


Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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