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A web-based dietary assessment method for exploring iron and zinc bioavailability

Project start date: 01 May 2012
Project end date: 07 January 2014
Publication date: 01 December 2013
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Sheep, Goat, Lamb, Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle
Relevant regions: National
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MLA's human nutrition research program funds research to increase knowledge of the role of red meat in a healthy balanced diet.
Purpose and description
To ensure the credibility, quality and relevance of research funded by MLA, advisory groups and independent external experts are commissioned to guide selection and assessment of research following annual advertisement for expressions of interest. A steering committee was formed and a consultant, Bill Shrapnel, commissioned to guide the preparation of expert reports. Researchers from CSIRO, University of Otago and Newcastle were commissioned to undertake dietary modelling and systematic reviews to inform red meat's role in a healthy, balanced diet in relation to its nutrient density, iron, zinc and omega-3. Funding of research proposals received from Deakin University, University of Newcastle and Otago to develop tools to conduct nutrition research to more accurately investigate the role of red meat.
To update the expert report on the role of red meat in a healthy diet to coincide with launch of marketing campaign, "we were meant to eat it" in 2007.To determine the benefit of nutrient density as an indicator for informing the development of dietary guidelines.To review the quality, public health significance and budget of nutrition research proposals for funding in MLA's Nutrition Research Program.  To review the current state of knowledge in zinc and iron  nutrition and to identify areas of need for further scientific zinc research.To determine the role of key nutrients for brain health at different life stages.To investigate the metabolism of DPA which is highly concentrated in red meat relative to other  long chain fatty acids, EPA and DHA.To determine whether zinc transporter expression in cheek cells is a more practical biomarker of zinc status than current measures used to explore the impact of dietary zinc intake on zinc status.To compile a nutrient composition database of foods required to calculate the amount of iron and zinc absorbed from a meal.To validate a short food frequency questionnaire for use in dietary intervention studies and in nutrition education.To support experts to attend advisory and steering meetings and to assess the quality, public health relevance, track record and budget of research proposals received for funding.
Citation:The role of red meat in the Australian diet. Nutrition & Dietetics 2007;64:S99-S195. See B, Baghurst K. Lack of nutritional equivalence in the 'meats and alternatives' group of the Australian guide to healthy eating. Nutrition & Dietetics 2007;64:254-260. See R, Heath A-L. Population groups at risk of zinc deficiency in Australia and New Zealand. Nutrition & Dietetics 2011; 68(2):97-108. See CE et al. Reproducibility and comparative validity of a food frequency questionnaire for adults. Clin Nutr. 2013 Oct 11. doi:pii: S0261-5614(13)00255-0. 10.1016/j.clnu.2013.09.015. See​

More information

Project manager: Veronique Droulez
Primary researcher: University of Otago