Construction of an N-nitroso database for assessing dietary intake

J Food Compost Anal. 2009 Dec 1;22(Suppl 1):S42-S47. doi: 10.1016/j.jfca.2009.01.008.


Dietary N-nitroso compounds are carcinogens synthesized during food processing from two main classes of precursors, oxides of nitrogen and amines or amides. Quantification of the dietary intake of N-nitroso compounds is significant to human cancers, including those of the stomach and upper gastro-intestinal tract, colon, and brain. Previous studies investigating these cancers primarily used proxy estimates of N-nitroso intake and not a full and complete database. In this report, we describe the development of a database to be used in conjunction with a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) or twenty-four hour dietary records. Published analytical data for N-nitroso compounds were compiled and evaluated for inclusion in the database. The final database consisted of 23 different N-nitroso compounds for 500 foods from 39 different food subgroups. Next, database foods were matched to foods in a standard FFQ by imputation, or calculated value, or assumed zero. Using the FFQ modified with N-nitroso values, we evaluated the ability to compute N-nitroso intakes for a sample of healthy control subjects of cancer epidemiological studies. N-nitroso content of food items ranged from <0.01μg/100 g. to 142 μg/100 g and the richest sources were sausage, smoked meats, bacon, and luncheon meats. The database is useful to quantify N-nitroso intake for observational and epidemiological studies.