Submitted to: National Nutrient Databank Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2008
Publication Date: 5/12/2008
Citation: Khan, M., Pehrsson, P.R. 2008. Changes in trans fatty acid profiles for selected snack foods in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. National Nutrient Databank Conference, Ottawa, Canada, May 12-14, 2008.
Technical Abstract: : Historically, many snack foods had been formulated with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, the primary contributor of trans fatty acids (TFA) in the US diet. Health concerns about TFA and saturated fat intake and increased risk for chronic health disorders have prompted some manufacturers to reformulate their products. In response to these changes and the new food labeling mandate for declaration of TFA, nutrient composition data are being updated and expanded in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR). The SR, a repository of information for about 7,500 foods on up to 140 nutrients, is the foundation for most nutrient databases and supports nutrition monitoring research and policy development. Materials and Methods: The USDA National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program (NFNAP) generated new analytical data for fatty acids and other nutrients through a rigorous, nationally-representative sampling approach. Under NFNAP, fatty acids for 12 snack foods were determined by gas chromatographic quantification of fatty acid methyl esters. The resulting data, along with analytical industry fatty acid data, were compiled for selected high consumption snacks. Total fat and TFA data were compared to values obtained prior to reformulation for nine snacks previously containing partially hydrogenated oils and for which analytical TFA data were available. Results: TFA were determined in regular, ranch and nacho tortilla chips, microwave popcorn (regular and low fat), cheese puffs/twists, potato chips, Pringles (regular and low fat), Chex Snack mix, and two popular meal replacement bars. TFA decreased in the nine historically matched snacks to less than 0.5 g/100 g (well below the labeling cutoff of 0.5 mg/serving) except for cheese puffs/twists (10.8g to 0.9g/100g). Overall, the total fat values did not change for the reformulated products. Significance: These data reflect current trends in TFA reduction in the US food supply of use to consumers and researchers.