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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Nutrient Data Laboratory

2010 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
To identify and quantify the nutrient composition of representative food samples in order to improve and expand the USDA Nutrient Databases. The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to provide quality control, sample preparation and support for USDA-initiated laboratory contracts and other laboratory projects to improve the quality of data in the National Nutrient Data Bank.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
The Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) is responsible for developing and disseminating authoritative composition databases for foods in the U.S. diet. Foods for preparation and analysis will be selected on the following bases: 1.) Key Foods, i.e. those identified as contributing up to 75% of any one nutrient of public health significance; 2.) foods frequently used as ingredients; and 3.) foods containing components of emerging interest. NDL will develop sampling plans for each type of food sampled, to assure a representative sampling of the food supply. NDL will order samples of food to be delivered to the cooperator for weighing, dissecting for physical components, preparation (including cooking), packaging and shipment to specified analytical laboratories for nutrient analysis. In many cases, the cooperator will need to develop preparation, dissection and cooking protocols. The cooperator will establish procedures for the implementation of these steps and for inclusion of control materials or duplicate samples for quality control assurance. In addition, the agreement includes consultations with NDL and contract laboratories on issues of methodology, sample analysis, handling and storage. The cooperator will also offer expertise in experimental design and interpretation of results of the nutrient analyses.

3. Progress Report
The current project under this agreement supports the acquisition, preparation, and documentation of various types of meat (e.g., beef, poultry) products for the determination of nutrient content. Nutrient data for meats and poultry in the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR) require continuous review due to changes in products in the marketplace as well as the introduction of new products. The U.S. food market has experienced increasing demands for prepared, ready-to-eat meat and poultry products leading to an increased availability of these types of products in retail food stores and fast food restaurants. In collaboration with scientists at Texas Tech University, beef and poultry products were sampled nationwide and prepared for analysis. As a result, data for ground turkey and several new beef cuts were released in SR 23. Additional documentation for weights and dissection of food components were generated. The nutrient data in SR are often utilized with nationwide food consumption surveys and the results are used to determine program policies and regulatory decisions within the USDA, EPA, FDA, HHS, and other government agencies. The impact extends beyond the United States to many international databases, including those of Canada and Latin America, adopting the nutrient information in SR as the core of their databases. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, the regulatory arm for food safety and labeling policies for meats, recognizes SR as the authoritative source of nutrient content of meat. SR data are also used by research scientists, dietitians, and the public to obtain current information about U.S. food products and to support the development of healthy meal patterns. With this broad impact, currency of the nutrient composition of meat and poultry is of the utmost importance. Project monitoring is primarily conducted through regular phone and e-mail communication. The collaborating scientists also met with NDL scientists in Beltsville to update project status in July 2010.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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