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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2007 Sep;389(1):171-8. Epub 2007 May 30.

Standard reference materials for foods and dietary supplements.

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  • 1Analytical Chemistry Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive Stop 8390, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8390, USA.


Well-characterized certified reference materials are needed by laboratories in the food testing, dietary supplement, and nutrition communities to facilitate compliance with labeling laws and improve the accuracy of information provided on product labels, so that consumers can make good choices. As a result of the enactment of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 and the Infant Formula Act of 1980, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) worked to develop a series of food-matrix standard reference materials (SRMs) characterized for nutrient concentrations. These include SRM 1544 Fatty Acids and Cholesterol in a Frozen Diet Composite, SRM 1546 Meat Homogenate, SRM 1548a Typical Diet, SRM 1566b Oyster Tissue, SRM 1846 Infant Formula, SRM 1946 Lake Superior Fish Tissue, SRM 1947 Lake Michigan Fish Tissue, SRM 2383 Baby Food Composite, SRM 2384 Baking Chocolate, SRM 2385 Slurried Spinach, and SRM 2387 Peanut Butter. With the enactment of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, NIST has been working to develop suites of dietary supplement SRMs characterized for active and marker compounds and for toxic elements and pesticides, where appropriate. An updated SRM 1588b Organics in Cod Liver Oil, a suite of ephedra-containing materials (SRMs 3240-3245), a carrot extract in oil (SRM 3276), and a suite of ginkgo-containing materials (SRMs 3246-3248) are available. Several other materials are currently in preparation. Dietary supplements are sometimes provided in forms that are food-like; for these, values may also be assigned for nutrients, for example SRM 3244 Ephedra-Containing Protein Powder. Both the food-matrix and dietary supplement reference materials are intended primarily for validation of analytical methods. They may also be used as "primary control materials" in assignment of values to in-house (secondary) control materials to confirm accuracy and to establish measurement traceability to NIST.

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