Measurement of Multiple Vitamin K Forms in Processed and Fresh-Cut Pork Products in the U.S. Food Supply

J Agric Food Chem. 2016 Jun 8;64(22):4531-5. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b00938. Epub 2016 May 24.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Food Handling
  • Food Supply
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Meat Products / analysis*
  • Red Meat / analysis*
  • Swine
  • Vitamin K / analysis*


  • Vitamin K