For Consumers

Total Diet Study - Analytical Results

CFSAN/Office of Analytics and Outreach

April 2001; Updated July 2008, January 2011, February 2012, June 2014

All TDS foods (with the exception of some infant/toddler foods) are analyzed for all elemental analytes (other than mercury) and radionuclides. For other analytes (pesticide residues, industrial chemicals, and mercury) only selected foods are analyzed. Refer to the food/analyte matrix to determine which TDS foods are analyzed for each analyte group.

TDS foods are analyzed for elements, pesticides residues and industrial chemicals in each market basket (MB); radionuclides are measured in only one MB each year. Each MB is designated by the fiscal year and the specific collection (1 through 4) for that year (e.g., MB 92-2 is the second market basket in 1992).

TDS results from mid-1991 to the present are reported below. (Data prior to this are not available in electronic format but have been published in numerous reports in the scientific literature; see the reference list.) TDS results are presented in two formats:

  • Data summaries of results from mid-1991 to the present. Beginning with results from 2006, data will be summarized in multi-year increments (i.e., 2006 - 2011). This will provide data users the ability to more easily review trends in TDS analytical results.
  • Individual results for each year

Data Summaries

Individual Results

The files listed in the table below contain the individual analytical results by year. Separate files have been created for elements, radionuclides, and pesticides and industrial chemicals.

A description of the file structure for each group of analytes is provided below; please review the file structures carefully before using the data files. The revision histories for elements and radionuclides indicate if and when the data files were revised after the original posting on the website and the nature of the revisions.

Each data file is a compressed, tab-delimited text file that can be downloaded, decompressed (double-click the file or use Stuffit Expander), and imported by database or spreadsheet software. If you are interested in data from all years, download the file that contains 'all results'. If you are interested in results from specific years only, download the individual files by year.

Notes on TDS analytical results for benzene:

An FDA evaluation has determined that the TDS method used in the Kansas City District Office laboratory to measure benzene produces unreliable results for benzene in some foods. Based on this evaluation, FDA scientists recommend that benzene data be viewed with great caution while FDA considers removing these data from the TDS website. There is no evidence of problems with other TDS data. See Questions and Answers on the Occurrence of Benzene in Soft Drinks and Other Beverages for more information.

For further information about the Total Diet Study, contact Timothy (Matt) Albright, Program Monitor, Timothy.Albright@fda.hhs.gov.


This document was originally issued April 2001, and updated June 2003, September 2004, September 2005, August 2006, March 2007, July 2008, January 2011 and February 2012. On June 2014, new element data was made available.

Page Last Updated: 11/27/2014
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