Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Nutrient Data Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #209395

Title: USDA Choline Data for Baby Food

item Pehrsson, Pamela
item Howe, Juliette

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/12/2007
Publication Date: 4/25/2007
Citation: Khan, M., Pehrsson, P.R., Howe, J.C., Williams, J., Zeisel, S. 2007. USDA choline data for baby food. National Nutrient Databank Conference, April 27, 2007, Washington, D.C.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Choline, a dietary component occurring naturally in high-protein and high-fat foods (e.g., eggs, meat, fish, nuts, legumes and human milk), plays a critical role in normal brain development (Zeisel et. al, 2004). It is essential to the development of cell membranes and therefore, inadequate intake by young infants and young children may directly impact brain development and permanent brain function. Choline deficiency during sensitive periods of growth may result in persistent memory and cognitive deficits. The Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine recommends an adequate intake (AI) of 125-150 mg/day for infants and 200 mg/day for very young children (IOM, 1998). Choline data are now generated through the USDA National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program for the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR). Choline values were determined by LC-ESI-IDMS for approximately 20 baby foods, which will be released in SR20 (2007) and SR21 (2008). Provisional values for choline in baby foods (per 100 g food) range widely within and among types of entrees: beef products (30-50 mg); chicken products (25- 40 mg); lamb (40-60 mg); turkey (30-40 mg); vegetable (10–30 mg); and vegetables and beef (~20 mg). National composites across brands showed dry (unprepared) baby oatmeal averaged 32 mg/100 g and whole milk, recommended for children under the age of two years, averaged 14.3 mg/100 g. Manufacturers’ data, which will also be included in the SR, show Infant formulas range from 8-10 mg/100 g. This is the first national analytical choline dataset for baby foods, the most significant source of nutrition for very young children. These and other USDA data are available to researchers, health professionals, nutrition policy makers, the food industry and consumers.