Dietary assessment tools and data to support food and health research

Lead Research Organisation: Quadram Institute Bioscience
Department Name: Contracts

Abstract

The project seeks to provide underpinning knowledge in formulating nutrition policy recommendations - particularly for subgroups with ‘common’ genetic polymorphism(s) in folate enzyme genes, and the national debate on mandatory fortification.
The project currently tests the following hypotheses:
A.That a mixed diet rich in natural food folates has the same bioefficacy as taking (a) folic acid and (b) 5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid (Metafolin®) supplements in raising folate status. Using human volunteers, a placebo-controlled 16-week folate-supplementation study will be undertaken.
B.That folic acid is actually transferred unmetabolised into the hepatic portal vein (HPV) and, contrary to previous estimates of ca. 30 litres, the sampled plasma pool ‘volume-of-distribution’ will be ca. 4 litres. Two studies will be undertaken; (a) one in Transjugular Intrahepatic Portal Systemic Shunt patients, with concurrent monitoring of HPV and systemic plasma responses; (b) one in normal volunteers, with the decay kinetics of an i.v. bolus of [13C5]-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid (the natural circulating plasma folate form) over the following 2 hours being used to model the plasma concentration at time t=zero. The "apparent plasma volume-of-distribution" then being estimated (a theoretical volume into which an absorbed oral dose is dispersed) for use in future studies to calculate 'apparent' folate absorption.
C.That aberrant red cell folate speciation rather than the C677T MTHFR T allele per se is the true marker for disease risk and/or cancer drug response and toxicity. Human volunteers will be screened for 'common' gene SNPs in folate-enzymes, red cell folate speciation (by newly-developed LC-MS/MS), and folate/iron/riboflavin/B12 status. Gene and/or nutrient interaction with the MTHFR T allele will be investigated in predicting what 'triggers' some (but not all) human carriers of the MTHFT T allele into aberrant red cell folate metabolism and hence aberrant folate speciation.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Albar S (2016) P29 Best practice guidance for dietary assessment in research: DIET@NET Guidelines in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

publication icon
Brug J (2017) Determinants of diet and physical activity (DEDIPAC): a summary of findings. in The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity

publication icon
Costa HS (2010) New nutritional data on traditional foods for European food composition databases. in European journal of clinical nutrition

 
Description Key findings in this award relate to the development of tools, data and services to support dietary assessment, and also to work relating to specific micronutrients, including folate, vitamin D, sulphur and phosphorous.

One of the primary developments in food and health research during the timeframe of this award was the mapping of current tools and services, and the subsequent development of ideas relating to creating research infrastructures. The FDNC team contributed to the EuroDISH project, which initiated the mapping of current RIs relevant to the DISH pillars (determinants, intake, status, health). The follow-up project, RICHFIELDS, designed a Consumer Data Platform, with Paul Finglas leading the work-package that assessed the status quo for key areas for the platform (food composition, dietary assessment, clinical studies) via several case-studies. The platform design is a key element of the ongoing Food Nutrition and Health Research Infrastructure initiative (FNHRI), which will be submitted to ESFRI in 2020. The FDNC team, working with the University of Surrey, has been instrumental in coordinating the development of the UK FNHRI Node.

FDNC has been involved in two key initiatives relating to accessing, assessing and standardising dietary assessment tools. Firstly, the team was part of an EFSA project that aimed to assess the functionalities and differences in performance of dietary tools that are used in national nutrition monitoring surveys. The tools were assessed via a questionnaire and a ring-trial, and the results are published both by EFSA and as a scientific publication. This was the first study to assess not only how similar tools handle data, but also how interviewers can influence the outcomes of dietary assessment. A second initiative, Nutritools, led by the University of Leeds, has created a website that collates information on validated dietary assessment methods, enabling researchers to find the most applicable tool for their research needs and to identify the best practice for their study.

Folate remains an important research topic relating to food composition and fortification and the bioavailability of various forms of the vitamin. This award concluded the group's folate research work, producing several publications relating to the bioavailability of forms of folate and their storage and utilisation in the body. Collaborations with external partners on improving folate data in dietary assessment studies and in food composition datasets have also produced important publications and improved the assessment of folate/folic acid intakes across Europe. The FDNC team have also contributed to specialist food composition datasets for particular regions (e.g. Black Sea, Afrofoods), specialist diets (e.g. traditional foods, therapeutic diets) and other micronutrients (e.g. vitamin D). A composition dataset for sulphur was created, in collaboration with the Food and Health ISP, to determine contribution of alliaceous and cruciferous vegetables to total sulphur intake and validated via duplicate diet assessment. Work with renal dieticians identified limitations in the current phosphorous composition data in the UK that has serious implications for the accuracy of developing phosphorous-restricted diets. In the future we hope to redress some of these phosphorous composition issues, subject to funding.
Exploitation Route The folate bioavailability and composition work contribute to the evidence central to the ongoing discussion on folic acid fortification in the UK and will help researchers and policy makers to better understand folate requirements and exposure. The identification of limitations in food composition data for specific purposes, such as therapeutic diets, will help FDNC compilers to understand current gaps in the UK dataset, and to prioritise future work. The creation of a sulphur dataset has illustrated how specific nutrient/purpose datasets can be established and has also addressed this specific gap in food composition data.

Work undertaken during this award timeframe established the initiative to design and implement a European-wide food, nutrition and health research infrastructure, which will enhance collaboration, improve data use, and add value to current research outcomes.

The Nutritools website is an invaluable source of information for researchers that will enable them to make informed choices about dietary assessment methods for future studies. The EFSA ring-trial directs researchers to the potential sources of error, both inherent to a tool and external, that can influence study outcomes. Both resources can help researchers to improve dietary assessment data in the future.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare

URL https://www.nutritools.org/
 
Description The work undertaken on the bioavailability of various forms of folate and the improvement of composition data for folate both represent important resources in the ongoing discussion on mandatory folic acid fortification in the UK. In 2019 there was a government consultation on this topic. Though the results have not yet been published, it is expected that folic acid fortification of flour may become mandatory soon. Accurate food composition data for folate and folic acid, and reliable tools for exposure assessment are necessary to model and assess the effect of fortification, both before and after any mandatory actions. The FDNC were also involved in a project (BACCHUS, FP7) that created a tool for assessing the impact of variations in bioactive intake, by connecting the group's eBASIS bioactives database with the Crème Global intake probability model. This tool could be used to predict the impact of fortified or supplemental products on population diets and was created as part of a toolkit for SMEs wanting to develop products with health claims. Accurate information about what is in the food we eat, and appropriate tools to record and monitor diets, are essential public policy tools, but also have application to industry in the development of functional foods. The idea for the development of a central, pan-European Research Infrastructure for Food, Nutrition and Health (FNH-RI) was first developed during the period of this award via complimentary EU funding (EuroDISH, RICHFIELDS). Within these projects, the FDNC team used expertise in food composition data and tools for dietary intake assessment to help to assess the status quo for diet and health research infrastructures and to develop the initial concept of a Consumer Data Platform. This work is currently being taken forward in the FNH-RI initiative that will be submitted to ESFRI in May 2020. FDNC has become one of the primary collaborators in this initiative and is leading the development of a UK Node for the Research Infrastructure that was submitted to UK ESFRI for support in Feb 2020. A large pan-European RI in food and health research has the potential to make research more efficient and effective, via data and knowledge sharing, and therefore to add value to publicly funded research. Although initiatives such as Nutritools and the EFSA ring-trial on dietary assessment tools primarily influence researchers in their selection of dietary assessment method, or in their application of dietary tools, this ultimately impacts the quality of data collection and analysis, and such data are frequently used to inform or monitor public health policy. Additions and updates to food composition data, even at a micronutrient level, improves the quality, reliability and applicability of datasets that are used in population intake and exposure analysis for monitoring purposes. At an individual level, food composition data plays an important role is supporting dietary assessment and dietary planning, used for the diagnosis and treatment of certain health conditions. Often, where therapeutic diets are required, there is a need to restrict or increase levels of nutrients in an individual's diet. Reliable and accurate food composition data is essential to health professionals planning these diets, and our work with dietitians has indicated that composition data may be limited in key areas which could have serious implications for thousands of patients, e.g. phosphorous - around 3 million people in the UK have chronic kidney disease (kidneycareuk.org) and may require a special diet as part of their long-term care. Working with stakeholders, particularly non-academic, to produce specific datasets for their needs is a function that FDNC could further exploit in the future.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description (RICHFIELDS) - Research Infrastructure on Consumer Health and Food Intake using E-science with Linked Data Sharing
Amount € 3,085,299 (EUR)
Funding ID 654280 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2018
 
Title Composition of Foods Integrated Dataset (CoFID) 
Description Composition of Foods Integrated Dataset (CoFID) - an new version of CoFID was released in March 2019 that includes updates from PHE's 2017 Fruit and Vegetable Survey and new and revised data on whole and toasted almonds from the Almond Board of California (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/composition-of-foods-integrated-dataset-cofid). 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact CoFID is a publicly available dataset that includes composition data for 3200 commonly consumed foods for the UK. It is used by a variety of stakeholders, including nutrition and health professionals, policy makers and industry. The 2019 update includes new and revised data, extending and updating the foods covered (to represent current consumer trends) and improving nutrient coverage, most notably including AOAC fibre for many fruits and vegetables. 
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/composition-of-foods-integrated-dataset-cofid
 
Description EuroFIR 
Organisation EuroFIR AISBL
Country Belgium 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We contribute with proving harmonised UK food composition data to the European Food Data Platform with other European countries, which is hosted and maintained by EuroFIR, and expert knowledge to the various technical working groups. This provides greater exposure and access to our data across Europe and internationally especially for policy makers and regulators such as EFSA, DG SANTE, WHO and FAO INFOODS.
Collaborator Contribution The EuroFIR partners covers other food database compiler organizations in Europe and internationally and we work to produce better harmonised data that can be sued to support food and nutrition research and policy, as well as meeting the needs of the food industry and SMEs. There are several technical working groups that member experts contribute to covering data standardization and interoperability, food description and thesauri, recipe calculations and branded foods. WE are also developing a common food composition database management system (FoodCASE) that is currently used by about 10 countries.
Impact Several technical reports, talks and papers such as; "Development, features and application of DIET ASSESS & PLAN (DAP) software in supporting public health nutrition research in Central Eastern European Countries (CEEC)" Food chemistry, 2018 "EuroFIR Guideline on calculation of nutrient content of foods for food business operators", Food chemistry, 2018 "Specialized food composition dataset for vitamin D content in foods based on European standards: Application to dietary intake assessment" Food chemistry, 2018 Also, EuroFIR are Multidisciplinary food composition experts, food, nutrition and data scientists, ICT and software engineers, dietitians and health professionals.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Active and Assisted Living (AAL) Congress in Bilbao 24th - 26th September 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Daniela Segovia Lizano (QIB) and Angelika Mantur-Vierendeel (EuroFIR) participated as exhibitors at the AAL Forum 2018 (https://www.aalforum.eu/) in Bilbao, Spain from the 24th until the 26th of September. Their stand was dedicated to the Quisper Project (http://quisper.eu/), which offers personalised nutrition advice based on sound scientific evidence through a single portal.


This forum was oriented towards the implementation of new technologies for healthy ageing. Therefore, Quisper as a new and innovative platform focused on personalised nutrition was introduced for the first time at this event. Nutrition needs, and requirements change throughout the life span, that is why a personalised dietary advice could be of major help for elderly people to remain healthy for longer or to deal with an existing health condition.

The intention was to present Quisper as an alternative for all those elderly patients who required a more personalised advice and to identify other projects/partners that would like to work together in the development and release of the platform.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description "Using scientifically credible data to underpin connected health" FENS 12th European Nutrition Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact "Using scientifically credible data to underpin connected health" FENS (Federation of European Nutrition Societies) 12th European Nutrition Conference in 20-22 October
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Attendance at the "Congress FOOD 2030: Towards sustainable agri-food systems" Congress FOOD 2030: Towards sustainable agri-food systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Congress FOOD 2030: Towards sustainable agri-food systems will be held on 5-6 September 2018, as one of the major events to mark the 200th anniversary of the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart. It will bring together experts, researchers and stakeholders from various disciplines with diverse experiences related to food systems.

It wants to contribute to solutions to the urgent challenges of the Agenda 2030, i.e. to end hunger, achieve food and nutrition security, and promote sustainable agriculture as formulated in the Sustainable Development Goal #2. Interconnected pressures from natural resource scarcity, climate change and population growth, systems of production and consumption in Europe and globally need fundamental changes. The call for concerted action and meaningful partnerships to address these challenges is greater than ever before
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://food2030.uni-hohenheim.de/en
 
Description Attendance at the Public Health England Annual Conference Public Health England Annual Conference - September 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Summary:
The Public Health England Annual Conference 2018 will bring together over 1500 participants, representing the wide range of organisations contributing to improving the health of the public, for two days of focused learning, experience sharing and networking.
Full Details:
The Public Health England Annual Conference 2018 has three key themes which will span across the programme:
• promoting world leading science and evidence
• making the economic case for prevention
• working towards a healthier, fairer society
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description EU Nutritional Composition Tables: A guide Health & Food Days Conference, La Rochelle, France 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact EU Nutritional Composition Tables: A guide Health & Food Days Conference, La Rochelle, France - 17th - 20th June 2014
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description FNH-RI UK Node Meeting, London, July 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact QIB co-organised (with university of Surrey) a workshop meeting to disseminate information about the Food, Nutrition and Health Research Infrastructure (FNH-RI) and to receive feedback on the initiative from potential UK collaborators. 25 delegates attended the meeting, held at the MRC Conference Centre in London on 11th July 2019. Participants included representatives from a range of UK research organisations and universities working in varying areas of food, nutrition and health, as well as some industry and policy representatives. The meeting included workshops designed to collate the views and ideas of participants relating to the proposed FNHRI initiative. From this workshop, 15 institutions signed the multi-lateral agreement expressing interest in being part of the UK Node of the FNH-RI. QIB/Surrey submitted a short proposal form to UKRI in Feb 2020 requesting support for the FNH-RI initiative, which will be submitted in full to ESFRI in May 2020.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Mapping food identification and classification systems, TDS SC & WP Meetings, Utrecht, The Netherlands 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact WP5 Task 5.3 Mapping food identification and classification systems, TDS SC & WP Meetings, Utrecht, The Netherlands - 22nd - 25th September 2014
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Nutrition Society "Getting energy balance right", University of Leeds, 10th -12th July 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Nutrition Society "Getting energy balance right", University of Leeds, 10th -12th July 2018
Nutritools.org an innovative website including a Food Questionnaire Creator for dietary assessment in health research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Training Workshop on "Standardization of Regional Food Composition Tables" in collaboration with WHO in Rabat, May 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Food Databanks delivered a Training Workshop on "Standardization of Regional Food Composition Tables" in collaboration with WHO in Rabat, Morocco to 30 international participants. World Health Organisation (WHO) Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Using scientifically credible data to underpin connected health, talk at 11th International Food Data Conference (IFDC) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact "Using scientifically credible data to underpin connected health" 11th International Food Data Conference (IFDC) Hyderabad, India
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Workshop on standardized methodologies for Food Composition Data hosted with INSA, Lisbon, Portugal November 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact QIB jointly hosted the workshop on standardized methodologies for Food Composition Data in Lisbon Portugal, November 2018. It was jointly hosted with the Instituto Nacional de Saúde Doutor Ricardo Jorge, INSA, Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal, November 2018, analytical training: FDNC organised a 3-week training course on analytical methods for nutrients in foods, for experts from Sudan, Egypt and Jordan. The use of new analytical methods by these countries will lead to the improvement of national datasets. It is expected that these experts will, in turn, train fellow professionals in their own country on food composition data and laboratory analyses. The workshop was hosted by Dr Helena Soares Costa at the Instituto Nacional de Saúde Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA), Lisbon. Training involved analysis of foods for nutrients including vitamin B1 and B2, vitamin C, vitamin A, E, D2, D3, fatty acids, amino acids, minerals, fibre.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description World Health Organisation (WHO) Workshop "Training Workshop on Standardization of Food Composition Tables Reflecting Sugar, TFA, SFA and salt contents in the EMR" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Training Workshop on Standardization of Food Composition Tables Reflecting Sugar, TFA, SFA and salt contents in the EMR
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017