Vitamin K food composition data have historically been limited to plant-based phylloquinone (vitamin K1). The purpose of this study was to expand analysis of vitamin K to animal products and to measure phylloquinone and 10 forms of menaquinones (vitamin K2) in processed and fresh-cut pork products. Nationally representative samples of processed pork products (n = 28) were obtained through USDA's National Food and Nutrition Analysis Program, and fresh pork (six cuts; n = 5 per cut) and bacon (n = 4) were purchased from local retail outlets. All samples were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (phylloquinone and menaquinone-4) and atmospheric-pressure chemical ionization-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (menaquinone-5 to menaquinone-13). Although low in phylloquinone (<2.1 ± 0.5 μg of phylloquinone per 100 g), all processed pork products and fresh pork cuts contained menaquinone-4, menaquinone-10, and menaquinone-11 (range: [35.1 ± 11.0]-[534 ± 89.0] μg of menaquinones per 100 g). The total menaquinone contents of processed pork products were correlated with fat contents (r = 0.935). In summary, processed and fresh-cut pork products are a rich dietary source of menaquinones that are currently unaccounted for in assessment of vitamin K in the food supply.
Keywords: food composition; menaquinones; phylloquinone; pork; sausage; vitamin K.