Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 20, 2007
Publication Date: March 16, 2007
Citation: Holden, J.M. 2007. Nutrients and Food Composition: Data Needs. International Symposium: The Importance of the KNHANES adn Nutrient Database in a search for Dietary Risk Factors, March 16, 2007, Seoul, Korea.
For more than 100 years the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has supported the generation and compilation of food composition data. Today the Agricultural Research Service, USDA develops and maintains the National Nutrient Data Bank, a repository of food composition data which provides the foundation for most other U.S. food composition database applications including the databases for the U.S. What We Eat in America: NHANES and for epidemiological applications. Recently, the USDA, in collaboration with the Office of Dietary Supplements, initiated the development of a database for dietary supplements to complement the databases for food composition. USDA food composition data are disseminated via the internet website www.ars.usda.gov/foodcomp. Applications include development of U.S. food and nutrition policy, product development, and the conduct of clinical and metabolic studies. Food composition data are also required to develop a national food labeling program and to support food trade. As a result, these data are an essential factor in the exploration of risk assessment tools for diet and nutrition research. Values for the more than 7,200 foods and up to 140 dietary components may be derived from chemical analysis of representative samples of the foods, obtained from the food industry or scientific literature, or calculated from data for similar foods. Through a collaboration with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, USDA has developed the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program to generate original analytical data for important foods. The challenging process of maintaining a dynamic reservoir of accurate, current, and specific estimates for components in foods and dietary supplements requires continuous support for food composition research, data generation, including studies of variability, and data compilation. Cooperation with the food and dietary supplements industries, the scientific community and government agencies is essential to this process.