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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 #443136

Research Project: Analysis of Prebiotics, Carbohydrates and Dietary Fiber in USDA Foundation Foods

Location: Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-52000-068-086-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 30, 2022
End Date: Jul 12, 2023

The currently available data on the content of carbohydrates and relevant fractions in foods and beverages are very limited. Up-to-date analytical data are needed for a publicly available dataset which can be used for nutritional and epidemiological research and for developing rational dietary guidance pertinent to multiple health conditions. The purpose of this collaboration is to determine the contributors of carbohydrates in order to obtain estimates of values for these compounds in key foods in the US food supply and in the development of dietary guidance in clinical trials and patient settings. This will provide data for important contributors of carbohydrates and the impact of processing, cooking and preparation to foods in the US diet ; this cooperative agreement will support prebiotic carbohydrate, and dietary fiber components in foods sampled for the USDA Foundation Foods database that is part of USDA FoodData Central (FDC).

The USDA FDC database provides the U.S. public and researchers with information on the nutritional composition of foods found in the marketplace. USDA and Virginia Tech (VT) have entered into cooperative agreement(s) to conduct sample procurement, preparation, and analysis of food samples and related research on Foundation Foods (FF). FF include single ingredient commodities and commodity-derived foods deemed important in the US food supply, as identified by MAFCL scientists, scientists at the Food Analysis Laboratory Control Center (FALCC) in the VT Biochemistry Department. FF sampling plans reflect the variability of nutrients, prioritizing foods/compounds of public health importance and where wide variability is expected and/or variability is unknown e.g., specific crops, animals/cuts of meat, and ingredients, and significant contributors of carbohydrates e.g., dietary fiber (DF), other components. The focus is on key fermentable and non-fermentable dietary fiber containing foods commonly consumed by the US population to meet current research and clinical needs within the cancer care community with resulting data reflecting accurate, current and statistically valid representations of national food consumption patterns. The data should include variability of the content of key DF and fermentable carbohydrates; the study design must be scientifically and statistically sound, built on robust scientific principles and appropriate technical approaches and use of a well-defined QC program to ensure high quality. All data must be incorporated into the USDA FoodData Central database on in a timely manner and any other specialized nutrient database(s), as appropriate. Specific Aim 1. Continue updating total DF content (IDF + SDF + OLIGO); and insoluble fibers shown in Table 1 for key DF components for analysis in the Greek/Italian Mediterranean Dietary Pattern (e.g., legumes, beans). Current market fresh/frozen/canned foods purchased and consumed in the U.S. are prioritized for collection and analysis under this agreement. This information is critical to support NCI DCP research project grants and prevention interests in currently available high use foods containing dietary fibers associated with at high-risk and average-risk populations for cancer prevention as well as dietary fibers identified as under consumed by US cancer patients and cancer survivors for secondary cancer prevention; Specific Aim 2. Continue updating individual DF component analyses for key soluble DF for: arabinoxylans, beta-glucans, fructooligosaccharides (low molecular weight), gums, galactooligosaccharides (low molecular weight), hemicellulose (high molecular weight), inulin (low molecular weight), mucilages, pectins, resistant starches 2 and 4. These data are critical for NCI DCP research project grants and efforts in primary and secondary cancer prevention; Specific Aim 3. Continue updating existing USDA FDC for all dietary fibers and components assayed in Specific Aims 1-2 above; and Specific Aim 4. After Specific Aims 1-3 listed above, if funds and time allow, key DF components found in foods consumed by Americans may be assayed.