Compilation of a provisional UK database for the phylloquinone (vitamin K1) content of foods

Br J Nutr. 2000 Apr;83(4):389-99.


This paper reports the compilation of a food composition database for phylloquinone (vitamin K1) derived from the direct analysis of foods, recipe calculation and the assignment of values based on food similarities. All the basic and other food items used in these calculations had been analysed by HPLC and about 170 of the items had been obtained and assayed in the UK. Recipe calculations took account of the cooking method and changes in water and fat content. Currently, approximately 1501 food items with Royal Society of Chemistry/Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food food codes have been allocated a vitamin K1 value, and a further 282 new recipe codes are included in the database. Representative values from each food group are reported together with an indication of the potential variation. Detailed examples of some recipe calculations are included, and also the impact of changing the type of fat in recipes. Vitamin K1 is associated with, and most abundant in, photosynthetic tissues of plants. Accordingly, the highest concentrations (3000-6000 micrograms/kg) are found in dark-green leafy vegetables and herbs, such as kale, parsley, spinach and green cabbage. Intermediate concentrations (1000-2000 micrograms/kg) are found in plants with paler leaves such as white cabbage and lettuce or in green, non-leafy vegetables such as broccoli and brussel sprouts. Fats and oils contain variable amounts of vitamin K1 with the highest concentrations (300-1300 micrograms/kg) in soyabean, rapeseed and olive oils and the margarines based on them. Other foods such as dairy products, meat dishes and cereal-based foods (bread, biscuits, cakes, desserts etc.), although not in themselves particularly rich in vitamin K1 (< 200 micrograms/kg), may contribute significantly to intakes when consumption of green vegetables is poor. Within the scope of this present study, it has not been possible to address issues such as inter-sample variability, losses during storage or the bioavailability from different foods and further work on these aspects is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apiaceae / chemistry
  • Brassica / chemistry
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cooking
  • Dairy Products / analysis
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Edible Grain / chemistry
  • Food Analysis*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Lettuce / chemistry
  • Meat / analysis
  • Plant Oils / analysis
  • Reference Values
  • Vitamin K 1 / analysis*


  • Plant Oils
  • Vitamin K 1