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2014 Milk powder and damper analytical program


Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has limited nutrient data on some commonly consumed foods from the 2012-13 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NATSINPAS) component of the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey (AHS).
In April 2014, FSANZ undertook a small analytical program to collect nutrient data on powdered milk (regular fat and skim), homemade damper, and Jackaroo branded products (plain flour and white bread) which were commonly consumed during the NATSINPAS.  


FSANZ selected five foods for analysis. FSANZ purchased regular fat and skim milk powder samples in Brisbane on 14 March and in Canberra on 14 & 15 April 2014. Samples were purchased from a range of outlets including supermarkets and independent grocers and were weighted to reflect brands reported during the NATSINPAS and products available in remote community stores.
Damper samples were prepared by FSANZ using recipes for plain traditional damper found online. All damper samples were made using unfortified white wheat flour and uniodised salt and did not contain added egg or flavours such as herbs or cheese. Samples were baked on 13 April 2014, stored in plastic or paper bags, and sent to the laboratory on 14 April 2014. 
Samples of Jackaroo bread and plain Jackaroo flour were provided direct to the laboratory by the relevant divisions of George Weston Foods.

Preparation and analysis

FSANZ photographed the regular fat and skim milk powder and damper samples before sending them to the National Measurement Institute (NMI). The NMI homogenised and combined samples to form one composite sample for each food for analysis. Three individual samples of regular fat milk powder with added vitamin A and D were also prepared for individual analysis as shown in Table 1. All samples were analysed without further preparation or cooking.

Table 1     Samples and analytes selected for analysis

​Food ​Number of samples ​Analytes
​Milk, powder, cow, regular fat, unfortified ​9 ​Full profile1 incl. vitamins A & D
Milk, powder, cow, regular fat, with added vitamins A & D (a) ​1 ​Vitamins A & D only
Milk, powder, cow, regular fat, with added vitamins A & D (b)​ ​1 ​Vitamins A & D only
Milk, powder, cow, regular fat, with added vitamins A & D (c)​ ​1 ​Vitamins A & D only
Milk, powder, cow, skim​ ​8 ​Full profile
Bread, damper, homemade, fresh​ ​6 ​​Full profile
​Bread, from white Jackaroo flour, commercial, added vitamins B1 & folate & Fe ​5 ​​Full profile
Flour, wheat, white, plain, added vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, E & folate & Fe, Mg & Zn (Jackaroo)​ ​1 ​​Full profile
The NMI conducted the analyses at their Melbourne laboratories using methods of analysis that have been accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities.


FSANZ validated the NMI results using information from analytical results previously obtained by FSANZ and food labels (ingredient lists, nutrition information panels and product specifications), where available.
Some unexpected results were identified. For example, both regular fat and skim milk powders contained detectable levels of fibre, even though there was no obvious source of fibre. Free folate and starch were also detected in the milk powder samples. Where uncertainty was present, the values were not used.  
For the complete set of results generated from this program refer to Appendix 10 – Milk powder and damper analytical program – data table.

Updates to the food nutrient database

Rather than incorporating the nutrient data generated from the 2014 program into existing food nutrient profiles, the data was used to create nutrient profiles for new foods that were used for coding in the NATSINPAS only. In some instances, nutrient values were imputed to make sure the food had a nutrient value for each of the nutrients to be reported from the AHS. These generally occurred for nutrients such as caffeine and ethanol which for these foods could be assumed to be zero.


The results of the milk powder and damper analytical program filled some important data gaps and refined nutrient profiles for several unique and highly consumed foods reported during the NATSINPAS. The results will also feed into future releases of the FSANZ reference database NUTTAB.

1 Full profile includes: Moisture, fat, nitrogen, fibre, starch, fructose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, ash, free folates, total Folates, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and  C, α-Carotene, β-Carotene, α-tocopherol, β-tocopherol, δ-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol, retinol, cryptoxanthin, I, K, Na, Zn, P, Mg, Se, Ca, fatty acids (including individual trans and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), cholesterol and tryptophan.


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