Extent of error in estimating nutrient intakes from food tables versus laboratory estimates of cooked foods.Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2007; 16(2):227-39AP
Individual cooked foods (104) and composite meals (92) were examined for agreement between nutritive value estimated by indirect analysis (E) (Indian National database of nutrient composition of raw foods, adjusted for observed moisture contents of cooked recipes), and by chemical analysis in our laboratory (M). The extent of error incurred in using food table values with moisture correction for estimating macro as well as micronutrients at food level and daily intake level was quantified. Food samples were analyzed for contents of iron, zinc, copper, beta-carotene, riboflavin, thiamine, ascorbic acid, folic acid and also for macronutrients, phytate and dietary fiber. Mean percent difference in energy content between E and M was 3.07+/-0.6%, that for protein was 5.3+/-2.0%, for fat was 2.6+/-1.8% and for carbohydrates was 5.1+/-0.9%. Mean percent difference in vitamin contents between E and M ranged from 32 (vitamin C) to 45.5% (beta-carotene content); and that for minerals between 5.6 (copper) to 19.8% (zinc). Percent E/M were computed for daily nutrient intakes of 264 apparently healthy adults. These were observed to be 108, 112, 127 and 97 for energy, protein, fat and carbohydrates respectively. Percent E/M for their intakes of copper (102) and beta-carotene (114) were closer to 100 but these were very high in the case of zinc (186), iron (202), and vitamins C (170), thiamine (190), riboflavin (181) and folic acid (165). Estimates based on food composition table values with moisture correction show macronutrients for cooked foods to be within +/- 5% whereas at daily intake levels the error increased up to 27%. The lack of good agreement in the case of several micronutrients indicated that the use of Indian food tables for micronutrient intakes would be inappropriate.