USDA updates primary nutrient database

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Vitamin

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has updated its nutrient database with more than 200 new nutrients and thousands of nutrient references for the likes of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.

The database additions are coordinated by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) from USDA-sponsored laboratory analyses, food industry data and scientific literature and provides free information on nutrient levels and safety.

The database now includes references to 7538 food items, each of which provides data for up to 143 components.

The USDA noted that changes to the 2009 edition included 3,000 values for Vitamin D regarding its presence in 20 species of fish and other foods fortified with vitamin D.

These included milk, orange juice, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, yoghurt, margarines for vitamins D2 and D3.

Fatty acid profiles were updated for several snack foods where reformulations to low- or no-trans​oils have occurred.

Among new foods added to the database were formulated bars and energy drinks.

Along with expanded vitamin D data, breakfast cereals, cream of wheat, soy-based vegetarian products, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard seed, chilled orange juice, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, whole wheat flour, and rye flour.

Minerals included in the database are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and fluoride.

Vitamins included in the database are ascorbic acid (vitamin C), thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, total choline and betaine, vitamin A, vitamin E (α-tocopherol), vitamin K (phylloquinone), and vitamin D.

"Nutrition and health professionals regard the database as the authoritative source of information about food composition in the United States,"​ said Mary Jo Feeney, fellow of the American Dietetic Association.

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