Food composition research
This project has conducted a survey of selected New Zealand foods to determine moisture
and fat content, and fatty acid profiles. The principal objective was to provide data on trans
fatty acid content to support decisions regarding labelling.
This report collates information on the breadth and range of vitamin D fortified foods in New Zealand, technological issues associated with vitamin D fortification, and methodological issues associated with analyses of vitamin D in different food matrices.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that can be synthesised in the body through exposure to sunlight or obtained through eating foods that are naturally good sources of Vitamin D. A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to rickets in children and osteomalacia (poor bone mineralisation) and osteoporosis (bone loss) in adults. Research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in the prevention of certain cancers.
Cholecalciferol, or ‘vitamin’ D as it is commonly referred to, is a popular research topic.
While it has long been known that vitamin D deficiency causes rickets in children, there is now renewed interest in this pro-hormone as potential health roles for vitamin D increase, with a concomitant rise in prevalence estimates for insufficiency. An informed discussion on vitamin D by public health professionals is now especially relevant because of recent evidence that many New Zealanders have low vitamin D status (1, 2).
This survey was commissioned by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority to inform a broad review of risk management options that aim to improve the blood folate status of women of child-bearing age. Inadequate intakes of folate and folic acid are associated with an increased risk of a woman having a child with a neural tube defect (NTD). A standard requiring the mandatory addition of folic acid to bread was to come into force in September 2009, but this has been deferred until May 2012 and voluntary provisions for the addition of folic acid to bread remain in place.
- Scientific Interpretive Summary - Iodine in salt [DOCX, 22 KB]
The work described in this report was undertaken to determine the level of iodine in retail salt
Current estimates indicate that the majority of people in New Zealand and Australia are likely to have dietary iodine intake levels below their respective dietary reference intakes. An extension of permissions for voluntary iodine fortification of an increased number of foods and mandatory iodine fortification with potassium or sodium iodide or iodate are being considered as a possible means of improving the iodine status of New Zealanders and Australians.
The aim of the current project was to assess the levels of iron and folate in fortified foods and to compare levels to those claimed on product labels.
The aim of the current project was to measure the levels of folate in a range of fortified food
types and to compare these levels to those of levels claimed in the nutrition information panel
(NIP) on the product labels, to underpin the development of food standards relating to
Key data gaps for sodium concentration of processed foods were filled through the analysis of 21 targeted foods to augment existing data from the 2003/04 New Zealand Total Diet Survey and the New Zealand Food Composition Database.
- Scientific Interpretive Summary-Sodium [DOCX, 23 KB]
Sodium, mostly in the form of sodium chloride or salt, is widely used in foods to enhance flavour, preserve food, and improve processing. Around three quarters of sodium intake in Western countries is consumed in processed foods with a further 10-15 % added in cooking and at the table. Although sodium is an essential nutrient, the majority of the world’s population consumes far in excess of what is required, and more than recommended dietary guidelines. High sodium intake is a cause of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and renal disease. It is associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer, and osteoporosis.
A survey of the caffeine, theobromine and theophylline content of guarana-containing foods available for sale in Australia and New Zealand.
As one part of its Nutrition Strategy 2009-12, the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) has identified sodium reduction as a priority new work programme. The Science Group of NZFSA commissioned the University of Otago (the ‘authors’) to write a discussion document that provided a review of information on sodium and its effects on food safety and human health.
Science research on Vitamin K in milk.
The purpose of the literature review is to evaluate available evidence on the use and role of fortified milk-based products in the diets of older infants and young children, in addition to the efficacy of such products on nutritional and health outcomes.
This Risk Profile addresses the risk from exposure to caffeine from energy drinks and energy shots available in New Zealand against a background dietary exposure from naturally occurring caffeine in foods and beverages and kola type soft drinks.