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Do dietary fortification/enrichment standards benefit the U.S. population?

Helping to enhance FDA’s dietary fortifications and enrichment database

Challenge

Because most foods contain relatively low levels of several key nutrients, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established and maintains enrichment and fortification standards to help correct deficiencies in the U.S. population. However, intake of excessive amounts of some nutrients may have negative health effects, and it is essential to ensure that fortification levels achieve the intended health benefits in the targeted population.

FDA requires an updated fortification/enrichment database to estimate the fractional amounts of nutrient for foods and beverages reported in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2013 to 2018.

Solution

Westat will apply a step-wise approach to update the fortification/enrichment database by first identifying foods reported in NHANES 2013-18, linked to food codes in the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS).

Each FNDDS food code contains 1 or more ingredient codes. Using a unique listing of those ingredient codes, we will use the previous fortification/enrichment database, currently available nutrient data, and package ingredient labels to determine the fortification and enrichment fractions of each nutrient for every ingredient.

In the final step, we will use these fractional nutrient values to construct fractional nutrient values for the FNDDS food codes. 

Results

The resulting database will provide the fortification, enrichment, and intrinsic nutrient values for all ingredients and foods contained in FNDDS versions from 2013 through 2018. This updated database will provide FDA with an important tool to monitor the effect of fortification and enrichment policies in the U.S.

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