DEVELOPMENT OF ACCURATE AND REPRESENTATIVE FOOD COMPOSITION DATA FOR THE U.S. FOOD SUPPLY
Location: Nutrient Data
Title: International Symposium on Analysis Program for Constructing Database about Nutrient Composition of Foods, Seoul, Korea, May 11-15, 2009.
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 6, 2009
Publication Date: March 6, 2009
Citation: Holden, J.M. International Symposium on Analysis Program for Constructing Database about Nutrient Composition of Foods, Seoul, Korea, May 11-15, 2009.
For more than 100 years the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has supported the generation and compilation of food composition data. Today the Agricultural Research Service, USDA develops and maintains the National Nutrient Data Bank, a repository of food composition data which provides the foundation for most other U.S. food composition database applications, including the databases for the U.S. What We Eat in America: NHANES and for epidemiological applications. USDA food composition data are disseminated via the internet (www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata). Applications include development of U.S. food and nutrition policy, nutrition and health monitoring, and the conduct of clinical and metabolic studies. Food composition data are also required to support food trade. Values for the more than 7200 foods and up to 140 dietary components may be derived from chemical analysis of representative samples of the foods, obtained from the food industry or scientific literature, or calculated from data for similar foods. Through a collaboration with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, USDA has developed the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program (NFNAP) to generate original analytical data for important foods. The NFNAP employs statistically valid sampling plans, comprehensive quality control, and USDA analytical oversight as part of the program to generate new and updated analytical data for food components. USDA food consumption and composition data were used to target those foods that are major contributors of nutrients of public health significance to the US diet (currently there are 454 Key Foods). Foods have been ranked using a scoring system, divided into quartiles, and then reviewed to determine the impact of changes in their composition compared to historical values. Foods have been purchased from several types of locations, such as retail outlets, fast food restaurants, and points of production in different geographic areas as determined by the sampling plan, then processed and sent for analysis to commercial labs and cooperators, along with quality control materials. The challenging process of maintaining a dynamic reservoir of accurate, current, and specific estimates for components in foods requires continuous support for food composition research, data generation including studies of variability, and data compilation. Cooperation with the food industries, the scientific community, and government agencies is essential to this process.