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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Surveys Research Group » Research » Research Project #442966

Research Project: Analysis of Foods for FoodData Central (FDC)

Location: Food Surveys Research Group

Project Number: 8040-10700-001-008-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 30, 2022
End Date: Sep 29, 2027

This cooperative agreement will support nutrient analysis of food samples at commercial laboratories, for the Foundation Foods database that is part of USDA Food DataCentral (FDC).

The USDA FDC database provides the U.S. public and researchers with information on the nutritional composition of foods found in the market place. 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 U.S. food supply, as identified by the Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory (MAFCL), other BHNRC scientists, and scientists at the Food Analysis Laboratory Control Center in the VT Biochemistry Department. FF sampling plans reflect the variability of nutrients, and prioritizing foods and compounds of public health importance and for which wide variability is expected and/or variability is unknown. Foods may include specific crops, animals/cuts of meat, and ingredients. Analytes may also include important non-nutrient bioactive compounds and newly emerging compounds of health interest. Food samples are procured through farmers, vendors, retail, or local samplings and are prepared at FALCC-VT for analysis, batched with appropriate control materials, and shipped to qualified laboratories for analysis. In some cases, FALCC-VT conducts analyses on specific components. In addition to preparation of samples, critical metadata with respect to variety, purchase sites, and dates are be tracked. Archived/backup samples will be prepared for repeat analyses and stored at FALCC-VT. Cooking protocols and protocols for preparation (e.g., under Nitrogen) are determined and recorded. FALCC-VT performs initial Quality Control review of data and makes recommendations to MAFCL leadership for their continued review, before data are published in FDC. In the context of this work, FALCC-VT will coordinate the purchasing of nutrient analyses at commercial labs, and this agreement specifically covers the cost of those analyses.