A New Method for Calculating Folate Content and Determining Appropriate Folate Levels in Foods

52 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2022 Last revised: 25 Sep 2022

See all articles by Abed Forouzesh

Abed Forouzesh

University of Tehran

Fatemeh Forouzesh

Islamic Azad University (IAU) - Department of Medicine

Sadegh Samadi Foroushani

University of Tehran

Abolfazl Forouzesh

Islamic Azad University (IAU) - Department of Medicine

Date Written: June 10, 2022

Abstract

Calculating the folate content per 100 kcal, 100 g or 100 mL, or the reference amount customarily consumed (RACC) shows the folate content of some foods inappropriately. So, making some food choices based on them to achieve adequate folate intake may increase the risks of some chronic diseases. Calculating the folate content and determining appropriate folate levels (to achieve adequate folate intake) based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), and the proposed method were performed in 6,621 food items. Making some food choices based on the FDA and CAC per serving (the serving is derived from the RACC) or CAC per 100 g or 100 mL to achieve adequate folate intake exceeded energy needs, which could lead to overweight or obesity. Making some food choices based on the CAC per 100 kcal or CAC per 100 g or 100 mL to achieve adequate folate intake did not meet folate requirements, which could lead to folate deficiency. Some foods that met folate requirements were not appropriate food choices based on the CAC per 100 g or 100 mL or CAC per serving to achieve adequate folate intake. On the basis of the proposed method, calculating the folate content and determining appropriate folate levels in foods are performed by considering RACCs and the energy content of foods. Thus, making food choices based on the proposed method met folate requirements and did not exceed energy needs. About 91% of foods contained folate. On the basis of the proposed method, the average (%) of foods containing appropriate folate levels in food groups was 22.62%, of which 11.23% was the average of folate source (good source of folate) foods, and 11.39% was the average of high folate (excellent source of folate) foods. Breakfast cereals with 78.54%, meals, entrees, and side dishes with 73.08%, fast foods with 70.44%, legumes and legume products with 60.34%, baby foods with 47.93%, baked products with 44.08%, and cereal grains and pasta with 35.26% had the highest averages of foods containing appropriate folate levels. Breakfast cereals with 75.86%, legumes and legume products with 42.19%, meals, entrees, and side dishes with 32.69%, cereal grains and pasta with 31.21%, fast foods with 23.9%, and vegetables and vegetable products with 11.92% had the highest averages of high folate foods. Most foods containing appropriate folate levels in 10 food groups (American Indian/Alaska Native foods; baby foods; baked products; beverages; breakfast cereals; cereal grains and pasta; fast foods; meals, entrees, and side dishes; restaurant foods; snacks) were allocated to folate-fortified foods. The highest amounts of folate were found in breakfast cereal (folate-fortified), energy drink (folate-fortified), duck liver, goose liver, turkey liver, chicken liver, formulated bar (folate-fortified), chicken giblets, edamame, turkey giblets, lamb liver, beef liver, veal liver, arrowroot, cowpeas, cranberry beans, macaroni (folate-fortified), spaghetti (folate-fortified), protein shake (folate-fortified), lentils, pork liver, yardlong beans, moth beans, pinto beans, whey protein powder isolate (folate-fortified), mung beans, pink beans, adzuki beans, granola bar (folate-fortified), pasta (folate-fortified), chickpeas, white rice (folate-fortified), lima beans, nutrition shake (folate-fortified), black beans, asparagus, rice and vermicelli mix (folate-fortified), noodles (folate-fortified), spinach, breakfast cereal made with wheat germ, navy beans, instant breakfast drink (folate-fortified), white beans, chicken liver pate, macaroni and cheese (folate-fortified), peanut butter (folate-fortified), kidney beans, great northern beans, turnip greens, pigeon peas, bread stuffing (folate-fortified), black turtle beans, artichokes, conch, bread (folate-fortified), garland chrysanthemum, chrysanthemum leaves, fava beans, immature seeds of pigeon pea, green soybeans, immature seeds of cowpea, chocolate drink (folate-fortified), bagels (folate-fortified), French beans, rolls (folate-fortified), yellow beans, potherb jute, mustard spinach, rice mix (folate-fortified), pancakes (folate-fortified), soybeans, yogurt parfait with granola (folate-fortified), soy-based protein powder, fava beans in pod, bean burrito (folate-fortified), French toast sticks (folate-fortified), lupin beans, hush puppies (folate-fortified), endive, cornmeal (folate-fortified), kale, pasta in tomato sauce (folate-fortified), vine spinach, romaine or cos lettuce, leafy tips of bitter gourd, pizza (folate-fortified), ravioli (folate-fortified), tortilla (folate-fortified), collards, papad, beef kidney, taro leaves, soy burgers, muffins (folate-fortified), dumpling (folate-fortified), corn flour (folate-fortified), English muffin (folate-fortified), split-peas, fireweed leaves, lasagna (folate-fortified), chicory greens, wheat flour (folate-fortified), toaster pastries (folate-fortified), Spanish rice (folate-fortified), boysenberries, bakery flour mix (folate-fortified), leafy tips of cowpea, black bean soup, egg rolls (folate-fortified), spinach soufflé, turnover (folate-fortified), quinoa, arugula, and immature seeds of fava bean. Foods containing appropriate folate levels were not found in three food groups (fats and oils; spices and herbs; sweets) and were few in nine food groups (beef products; pork products; sausages and luncheon meats; lamb, veal, and game products; dairy and egg products; poultry products; finfish and shellfish products; soups, sauces, and gravies; beverages).

Keywords: dietary folate; food sources of folate; adequate folate; folate deficiency; folate-rich foods; folate-poor foods; obesity; folate function; folate benefits

Suggested Citation

Forouzesh, Abed and Forouzesh, Fatemeh and Samadi Foroushani, Sadegh and Forouzesh, Abolfazl, A New Method for Calculating Folate Content and Determining Appropriate Folate Levels in Foods (June 10, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4133391 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4133391

Abed Forouzesh

University of Tehran ( email )

Fatemeh Forouzesh

Islamic Azad University (IAU) - Department of Medicine ( email )

Tehran
Iran

Abolfazl Forouzesh

Islamic Azad University (IAU) - Department of Medicine ( email )

Tehran
Iran

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