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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory » Research » Research Project #432278

Research Project: Development of Special Interest Database on Iodine in U.S. Foods

Location: Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-52000-068-15-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2016
End Date: Sep 30, 2021

The objective of this project is to develop an analytically derived dataset on iodine in major contributors of iodine in the US food supply. This is in keeping with the overall objective of: Develop and expand the USDA-ARS food composition databases to represent the dynamics of the U.S. food supply, including increased use of commercially packaged foods, restaurant foods, school foods, and ethnic foods. As we monitor sodium and related nutrients in commercially processed and restaurant foods in the US food supply and the use of iodized salt (not used in commercial applications) decreases, information on sources of iodine becomes of increasing importance. Development of authoritative food composition data and databases for components that may promote health such as iodine in thyroid health and prevention of fetal disorders (approximately 20% of women of reproductive age are potentially deficient) is as important as conventional nutrients. It is imperative to include these targeted foods, determine better estimates of variability among brands and types of foods e.g., different types of salmon, and other pertinent information (cultivar, weather, growing conditions, aquaculture information, etc.), which impact the nutrient values. The specific objective of this agreement is to assign food specialists with expertise in food composition, food analysis and data compilation/databases to populate the USDA food composition databases or special datasets with new iodine data and to prepare presentations for the scientific community.

Improved food composition data and research focused in ongoing ARS programs will be established through small and large studies on the changing composition of the U.S. food supply. Emerging nutrients of public health importance e.g., iodine in the diets of vulnerable subgroups of the US population (women of reproductive age) will be studied and included in the USDA food composition database/s and associated research products and databases. This includes monitoring and analysis of key contributors of iodine through development of Key Foods list and including commercially processed foods, seafood/seaweed, retail salts, and foods expected to contain either naturally occurring iodine or additives/salt which contains iodine. The approach of this agreement is to secure food specialists and chemists with experience in the mineral composition of foods, to interpret and analyze the resulting data, participate in quality control check panels, determine using statistical tests if the data are chemically acceptable given the food matrix, and to aggregate and compile the data for inclusion in the USDA food composition database, ARS Foods Data System (ARS FooDS). In addition, the food scientists/chemists will prepare the data for database releases and manuscripts.