In 2019, FSANZ undertook an analytical program to update and expand our food composition data holdings. Sixteen foods were selected for nutrient analysis for which we hold no data, or the data we do hold is out-dated and may no longer reflect the products available for consumption.
The nutrients selected to be analysed differed for each food depending on what data was available, the quality of the data, and whether the nutrient was likely to be present in the food.
Eight samples were purchased for each food. The foods were sampled across Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). For some samples, multiple items were required to ensure an appropriate sample weight was obtained (i.e. one sample of lollies included 2-3 bags).
Sampling was carried out in the ACT by FSANZ and in Victoria by the National Measurement Institute (NMI). All food purchases were made within capital city and metropolitan areas to represent the buying habits of the majority of the community. Food purchases were made at a range of retail outlets including supermarkets and health food stores. If more than one sample of the same brand was purchased, different batch codes or use by dates were selected where possible.
The complete list of foods selected for analysis is available in Table 1.
Table 1: Foods analysed in the 2019 Key Foods analytical program
No. of samples purchased (no. of items purchased*)
No. of brands/varieties
Cereals and cereal products
Bread, garlic, commercial, cooked
Bread, Naan, commercial
Bread, pizza base, commercial
Pasta in cream based sauce, dry mix
Pasta in cream based sauce, prepared with reduced fat milk and margarine
Fruit products and dishes
Goji berry, dried
Pineapple, canned in natural juice
Pineapple, canned in syrup
Coffee mix, with beverage whitener and sugar, dry powder
Fruit drink, apple juice, commercial (20% - 35% juice)
Vegetable products and dishes
Beetroot, canned, drained
Seed and nut products and dishes
Nut, cashew, roasted, unsalted
Nut, cashew, roasted, salted
Sugar products and dishes
Lolly, jelly varieties
*In some instances, multiple items must be
purchased to reach the required weight of 500 g per sample.
Preparation & analysis
The samples were delivered by hand or sent by courier to NMI. Once received, the samples were photographed and copies were provided to FSANZ for approval prior to analysis.
NMI prepared samples according to the sample preparation procedures provided by FSANZ. Each sample was weighed (before and after preparation where appropriate), homogenised and combined to form one composite sample. Nutrients analysed in this program are listed in Table 2.
NMI conducted the analyses at their Melbourne laboratories. Methods of analysis used have been accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities.
Table 2: Nutrients analysed in the 2019 Key Foods program
Carotenes (α and β)
Fatty acid profile
Total dietary fibre
Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)
Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
Tocopherols (α, β, γ and δ)
FSANZ validated the results using our existing analytical data, food labels (ingredient lists and nutrition information panels) where available, and data from international food composition databases for similar foods.
The majority of results were consistent with previous findings. A small number of analytes in some foods showed levels outside the expected range. These food samples were reanalysed by the laboratory, and all results were verified and accepted.
For the complete set of results generated from this program refer to Appendix 1 – 2019 Key Food analytical program data table.xls.
The results of this analytical program have filled some important data gaps and given us an improved level of confidence about the composition of these foods which contribute to population nutrient intakes. The results will also feed into future releases of the FSANZ published databases, including the Australian Food Composition Database and future national nutrition survey databases (AUSNUT).