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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 #435115

Research Project: National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program

Location: Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-52000-068-024-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jul 31, 2018
End Date: Jul 30, 2023

The overall objective is to provide a validated nutrient database for use by the scientific community and government agencies for monitoring and evaluating the dietary intake of specific nutrients and bioactive compounds in foods and dietary supplements. Under NFNAP, data for traditional nutrients will be updated while data for components of emerging scientific interest will be added to the databases. In addition, NFNAP will continue to support research concerning the variability of nutrients in specific foods. New project goals include sampling and analysis of highly used ingredients in commercial foods, crop foods, and foods containing nutrients of emerging public health importance.

The BHNRC food composition data system, now under development, contains data for 250,000 commercial foods (labels) and more comprehensive analytical/calculate data for 8,000 food items/150 nutrients and food components. The food composition data are derived from USDA contracted analyses, the food industry, and scientific literature. Nationwide or customized product sampling and analysis, collaborations with manufacturers, trade organizations and agricultural scientists, under the Nutrient Data Lab's analytical program, are used to improve the quality and quantity of these data. Statistically valid sampling plans are developed based on the needs (including estimates of variability) of foods, components such as dietary fiber, bioactive compounds and ingredients. USDA analytical oversight and a comprehensive, multi-step quality control program are important features the analytical program; specific aims are: a) Identify and prioritize foods and nutrients for analysis; b) Devise and implement a nationally-based or appropriate research sampling plan; c) Acquire and analyze food samples; and d) Review, compile, and disseminate representative values.