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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Nutrient Data Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #222480

Title: Development of Sampling Strategies for Foods in Latin America

item Holden, Joanne
item Pehrsson, Pamela

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2008
Publication Date: 2/23/2008
Citation: Holden, J.M., Pehrsson, P.R. 2008. Development of sampling strategies for foods in Latin America. FAO Food Sampling Workshop, February 23-March 1, 2008, Tucuman, Argentina.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: National nutrient databases rely, in part, on the generation of original analytical data to estimate nutrient values for commonly consumed foods. The generation of representative analytical values requires the collection of units (e.g., packages of cereal, heads of cabbage) of a food according to predetermined sampling plans. The development of this plan includes consideration of multiple factors (e.g., brand, cultivar, climate, maturity, location) which have an impact on the mean and statistical variability of values for a given food and component. Foods can be sampled in various ways according to the specific objective of the study. The strategy for sampling must include a demographic plan coupled with specific characteristics about the food itself to define the locations for sampling, the type of sample units to select, and the number of units required. USDA has conducted food sampling research through the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program to determine the optimal sampling scheme for each food. A probability-based sampling strategy has been developed to assure the representativeness of food samples collected. In addition, FAO is interested in selecting food samples to reflect the biodiversity of the food supply. These techniques will be used in a training course in Latin America to assist in the development of sampling plans for approximately 15 frequently consumed foods (i.e., Key foods) for Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay. Some foods will be agricultural products (e.g., potato, chicken) while other foods will be processed or prepared foods (e.g., pizza, empanadas). Basic statistical concepts of sampling will be discussed and will be demonstrated by developing sampling plans for the foods. These sampling plans will be used as the basis of gathering representative samples of the selected foods to generate new analytical data for the National Nutrient Databases of the respective countries.