Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory » Research » Research Project #444819

Research Project: Nitrates and Nitrites in Foods and Botanical Dietary Supplements

Location: Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-52000-068-098-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 30, 2023
End Date: Aug 29, 2024

The purpose of this collaboration is to determine the contributors of nitrites and nitrates and to obtain estimates of values for these compounds in key foods and dietary supplements in the US food supply. The goal is to produce a Special Interest Database on nitrites and nitrates in foods which will be available on

The Methods and Application of Food Composition (MAFCL) plans are to obtain nitrate/nitrite values in selected food samples, including leafy green vegetables, and processed, meat items, raw and cooked, of which analyzed values will be ultimately compiled into a special interest database on dietary nitrates/nitrites in foods. MAFCL has previously consulted with University of Oklahoma (UOK), but now will be both UOK and Oklahoma State as collaborators; they provide information on the efficacy and benefits of dietary nitrates/nitrites in vegetables and meats. This includes control composites, in collaboration with Virginia Tech University, which can be used as laboratory reference control materials for nitrate/nitrite analysis. These foods will be analyzed at University of Oklahoma or with commercial or other academic laboratories using the Ozone-based Chemiluminescence method. Analytical values from primary and secondary data will be used to generate the special interest database on Nitrate and Nitrites. Sources of DS information, including the NIH Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and market research firms will be used to identify high consumption DS that may also contain high levels of nitrites or nitrates, based on their ingredient listings or label claims. These products will be purchased and tested using the chemiluminescence method mentioned previously. Foods where published reliable data do not exist, especially if significant contributor of nitrates/nitrites to the US diet, will be identified for analysis. Yield/ retention status of the cooked foods and compare amount of nitrates and nitrates available before and after cooking the raw foods will be evaluated. A special interest database for release on the USDA web site will be developed.