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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 #435416

Research Project: Environmental Impact on Nutrient Profiles of Foods

Location: Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-52000-066-008-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2018
End Date: Aug 31, 2023

Recent studies report that the changing environment, including rising carbon dioxide concentrations globally, influences nutrient content of different foods. The objective of this work will be to determine the effects of different levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and of different growing conditions (urban/rural gardens, commercial production) on protein, carbohydrate, and mineral content of brown and polished rice. The hypotheses to be tested are: i) higher carbon dioxide will reduce mineral/trace element and protein content in rice; ii) the reduction in nutrients will be greater in polished compared to brown rice; iii) magnitude of the responses will differ between cultivars; and iv) fruits/vegetables grown in urban gardens will have reduced macronutrient content.

A. Rice project: 7 rice varieties (Cypress, IAC, IITA, Italica Carolina, Nerica, Nipponbare, IR72, and 075-158 which is genetically modified from Cypress) will be grown in climate-controlled chambers in the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center at 3 levels of carbon dioxide (300, 400, and 600 ppm). There will be 2 experiments per period with w chambers per run. Plants will be allowed to form panicles, and seeds allowed to dry on the plants. Once seeds are dry and hard, panicles will be harvested by cutting from the plant. Three large/well-formed panicles from each plant will be taken for destructive sampling to get oven-dry weights of mature seed, empty seeds, and panicle branches and chaff. Remaining panicles will be stored at room temperature in new paper bags until further processing is be done. After processing, aliquots of rice will be analyzed for macronutrient content and minerals/trace minerals using standardized techniques. B. Urban gardens project: Produce items based on their popularity of production in Baltimore’s urban agriculture community and similar products sold in grocery stores and local Farmer’s Markets will be collected, processed and freeze-dried using standardized procedures. Nutrient profiles will be measured in approved laboratories as established by the USDA ARS Nutrient Data Laboratory.