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 #222479

Title: Expanding Data on the Nutrient Content of Hispanic/Latino Foods in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

item Haytowitz, David
item Pehrsson, Pamela
item Holden, Joanne

Submitted to: National Nutrient Databank Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2008
Publication Date: 5/12/2008
Citation: Haytowitz, D.B., Pehrsson, P.R., Holden, J.M. 2008. Expanding data on the nutrient content of Hispanic/Latino foods in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. 32nd National Nutrient Databank Conference, May 12-14, 2008, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Objective: Hispanic-Americans have become the largest minority group in the United States, increasing the need for accurate and current data on nutrient composition of Hispanic/Latino foods. These data will also support NIH’s Hispanic Communities Health Study (HCHS). Methods and Materials: A pilot study of local Maryland samples, e.g., horchata, plantain chips, and various breads and rolls, was initially conducted. This was followed by the development of a list of foods based on frequency of use as identified by focus groups conducted in several U.S. cities with first generation immigrants from Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Suggestions were also provided from the HCHS diet committee. Foods were selected to include restaurant foods as well as processed foods and ingredients procured from local markets located in the HCHS regional centers (New York, Miami, Chicago, San Diego, and Minneapolis). Foods collected included empanadas, fried plantains, and arroz con pollo, among others, and were shipped to Virginia Tech and composited according to protocols developed for USDA’s National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program. Aliquots of composites, with quality control materials, were sent to USDA-approved laboratories for the analysis of a full set of over 100 nutrients. Additional foods will be sampled in the future. Results: Fat values in empanadas ranged from 17.6-19.6 g/100g, and in fried plantains from 5.2-10.8 g/100g. Green fried plantains had more starch (41 g/100g) than yellow plantains (8-17 g/100g), while the total sugar in green plantains was 4 g/100g compared to a range of 14-33 g/100g in yellow plantains. Sodium values in empanadas ranged from 402-503 mg/100g; the values in arroz con pollo ranged from 414–632 mg/100g. Significance: These results provide current and accurate data on Hispanic/Latino foods for USDA databases, permitting improved diet assessment in the HCHS as well as in What We Eat in America: NHANES.