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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: USDA NATIONAL NUTRIENT DATABANK FOR FOOD COMPOSITION

Location: Nutrient Data

Title: The USDA Table of Cooking Yields for Meat and Poultry

Authors
item Showell, Bethany
item Williams, Juhi
item Duvall, Marybeth -
item Howe, Juliette -
item Patterson, Kristine
item Roseland, Janet
item Holden, Joanne -

Submitted to: Home Page
Publication Type: Research Technical Update
Publication Acceptance Date: December 7, 2012
Publication Date: December 7, 2012
Citation: Showell, B.A., Williams, J.R., Duvall, M., Howe, J.C., Patterson, K.K., Roseland, J.M., Holden, J.M. 2012. The USDA Table of Cooking Yields for Meat and Poultry. http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=9448.

Interpretive Summary: The Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) at the USDA conducts food composition research to develop accurate, unbiased, and representative food and nutrient composition data which are publicly released as the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Obtaining data for cooking yields for foods is an integral component of this research, because yield data are an important resource for U.S. and international food composition databases. Since the 1950’s, USDA has released cooking yield tables that describe changes in food weight due to moisture loss (e.g. evaporation, moisture drip), water absorption, or fat gains/losses during food preparation. Cooking yields are used in food formulations and recipes to convert nutrient values for uncooked foods into values for cooked foods. NDL has recently conducted several collaborative research studies with scientists in the food industry and universities to obtain and update values for nutrient content and cooking yields in fresh meat and poultry including beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and game. For these studies, samples were chosen according to statistical sampling plans designed to provide nationally representative data. Standard procedures were developed for cooking, standing time, handling, and weighing of all samples. Cooking yields were calculated from raw and final cooked weights. Moisture and fat content were determined. These data have been used to prepare an updated table of cooking yield data for distribution via NDL’s publicly available website. USDA yield data provide researchers, nutrition professionals, industry officials, and consumers with important information for reference and for making decisions regarding food plans and food preparation. These data are being provided as the USDA Table of Cooking Yields for Meat and Poultry at http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata.

Technical Abstract: The Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) at the USDA conducts food composition research to develop accurate, unbiased, and representative food and nutrient composition data which are released as the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR). SR is used as the foundation of most other food composition databases in the U.S. and worldwide to monitor food and nutrient intake, conduct human nutrition research, label foods, and develop nutrition policy. USDA food composition data support efforts of the USDA Food Safety and Information Service (FSIS) and the retail meat industry to initiate single ingredient meat labeling which became mandatory in March 2012. USDA cooking yields and retention factors are important because these data serve as a major resource for U.S. and international food composition databases. Scientists at NDL apply cooking yield and moisture gain/loss factors to food formulations and recipes, in order to convert nutrient values for uncooked foods or ingredients into values for cooked foods. Those values are entered into the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR). The Food Surveys Research Group uses nutrient retention factors and cooking yields in their recipe program to add additional foods to the USDA Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS). Other federal agencies use the factors to develop nutrient estimates for foods. Literature reviews reveal that nutrient retention data are limited. To maintain the quality of retention factors and cooking yields it is essential to review and update existing data and acquire new data as needed. Since the 1950’s, USDA has released cooking yield data including the USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors and the Agriculture Handbook (AH) No. 102 Food Yield that describe changes in food weight due to moisture loss (e.g. evaporation, moisture drip), water absorption, or fat gains/losses during food preparation. AH-102 has been referenced for use by food service operations, the food industry and universities. The data in AH-102 were applied to food nutrient values and weight updates in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. The Nutrient Data Bank System allows these data, which have been available up till now in hard copy only, to be disseminated electronically for the first time. To prepare the USDA Table of Cooking Yields for Meat and Poultry, data from AH-102 were reviewed, revised and assimilated. Revisions included changes in some food name descriptions, a categorization of preparation methods, and incorporation of new % yield, % moisture change and % fat change data. Some of the new data were obtained from moisture and weight change determinations made on various foods in NDL’s food preparation laboratory. In addition, NDL recently conducted several collaborative studies with scientists in the meat industry and universities to obtain nationally representative samples of fresh meat and poultry products which have been chemically analyzed using quality control protocols. These recent studies have expanded the yield table to include additional foods and other cooking methods. New data processing capabilities in the Nutrient Data Bank System enabled calculation of yields and retentions from weight and nutrient records and provided the mechanism for dissemination of these data in electronic format. New fields (food identifiers and statistical information) not available in AH-102 have been included in the online table. The “USDA Table of Cooking Yields for Meat and Poultry” provides valuable information regarding meat cut, cooking methods, total cooking yield, and moisture and fat gain or loss. These data can be used for developing nutrient estimates for foods, as well as for making decisions where maximizing cooking yields is a desired outcome. The data and supporting documentation are being released at http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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