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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 #438475

Research Project: National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program (NFNAP) – Key Dietary Fibers and Fermentable Carbohydrates

Location: Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-52000-068-051-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Aug 13, 2020
End Date: Aug 12, 2021

The USDA FoodData Central (FDC) is the authoritative, nationally and internationally recognized high-quality food composition database that provides the foundation for most food composition databases used in food policy, research, dietary practice, and nutrition monitoring world-wide. This analytical research will address the growing importance for estimates of variability particularly for newly emerging carbohydrate fractions which may behave as dietary fiber, may be created or lost in processing/cooking, impact the health of the human microbiome and which are primarily in foods as commodities in the larger U.S. food supply. Overall, these foods and components, may contribute to health and prevention of chronic diseases related to diet.

FDC contains analytical and label data for almost 300,000 foods and 150+ nutrients and food components. The food composition data are derived from USDA contracted analyses, the food industry, and scientific literature. Product sampling and analysis either by USDA or in collaboration with agricultural, academic and food industry scientists, is used to improve the quality and quantity of analytical data in the USDA food composition databases and in research on nutrients and nutrient groups. Effective sampling and collection of metadata are critical to understanding nutrient variability (e.g., carbohydrate fractions such as resistant starch and oligosaccharides) which in turn is critical to understanding the impact of foods and nutrients, dietary patterns and impact on human health. USDA analytical oversight, a comprehensive, multi-step quality control program and specific well-designed studies are critical to understanding the impact of newly emerging and existing carbohydrate fractions, either in raw or cooked foods, which affect diet and health.