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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory » MAFCL site pages » About MAFCL


The MAFCL consists of three interrelated groups:

Analytical Methods Research (AMR)         Research Lead: James Harnly

The mission of the Analytical Methods Research Group (AMR) is to improve the breadth and quality of composition data by developing, validating, and disseminating new analytical technologies that can be used in identifying and quantifying food components as well as verifying the identity of food materials.  Learn More 

Food and Nutrition Research (FNR)         Research Lead: Pamela Pehrsson

The mission of the Food and Nutrient Research Group (FNR) is to conduct research on the impact of environmental influences, agricultural production and practices, and food preparation methods on the composition of foods. Information derived from this research can be used in assessments of food and nutrient intake and health outcomes. FNR also conducts research on foods from diverse cultures and promotes international cooperation in the development and harmonization of nutrient databases. Learn More

FoodData Central (FDC)         Research Lead: Kyle McKillop

The mission of the FoodData Central (FDC) group is to support and expand FDC, USDA’s online integrated food and nutrient data system. The FDC group also promotes efforts to maintain FDC as a worldwide resource for food composition information. Learn More