Survey Data on Perchlorate in Food - 2005/2006 Total Diet Study Results


Perchlorate is a naturally occurring and manmade chemical. Naturally occurring perchlorate, for example, is found in arid states in southwestern United States (U.S), as well as in nitrate fertilizer deposits in Chile and potash ore found in U.S. and Canada. Perchlorate can also form naturally in the atmosphere, leading to trace levels of perchlorate in precipitation. Perchlorate is also an industrial chemical that is used as an oxidising agent in rocket propellant, in fireworks and flares, and for other purposes. It has been detected in a variety of foods and in drinking water from some locations in the U.S.

Human exposure to sufficient doses of perchlorate can interfere with iodide uptake into the thyroid gland, disrupting its functions and potentially leading to a reduction in the production of thyroid hormones. Sustained inhibition of iodide uptake can lead to hypothyroidism, which can lead to metabolic problems in adults and abnormal development in utero and in infancy

To assess the potential risk of perchlorate, FDA must first conduct surveys to better understand the occurrence and levels of perchlorate in a variety of foods from various locations. The levels of perchlorate found in the foods analyzed will also be used to better understand perchlorate exposure from food and to support action, if warranted, to protect the public health. The data presented below are results from analysis of composite food samples from FDA's Total Diet Study (TDS). FDA also surveyed individual food product samples for perchlorate; the individual food product data are available at  2004-2005 Exploratory Survey Data on Perchlorate in Food.

The TDS is FDA's ongoing market basket survey in which approximately 280 core foods (TDS foods) in the U.S. food supply are collected and analyzed to determine levels of various contaminants and nutrients in those foods. Four market baskets are generally collected each year, one in each of four geographic regions of the U.S. (i.e., West, North Central, South, and Northeast). For each market basket, samples of each TDS food are collected from grocery stores and fast food restaurants in three cities within the region, prepared table-ready, and composited for analysis. Therefore, each data point for a contaminant or a nutrient represents the analytical result for a composite of three samples of the TDS food. For more information on the TDS, see Total Diet Study.

FDA analyzed selected TDS foods from each market basket in FY05 and FY06 to determine the occurrence of perchlorate in a wide variety of products in the U.S. food supply. These results indicate perchlorate levels in a composite of three samples of each table-ready TDS food. An exposure assessment entitled, "U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Total Diet Study: Dietary Intake of Perchlorate and Iodine," based on these perchlorate results has been posted on the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. The estimated lower bound to upper bound average perchlorate intakes by the 14 age-sex groups range from 0.08 to 0.39 micrograms per kilogram body weight per day (µg/kg bw/day), compared with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Reference Dose (RfD) of 0.7 µg/kg bw/day. The RfD is an estimate (with uncertainty spanning perhaps an order of magnitude) of a daily oral exposure to the human population (including sensitive subgroups) that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects over a lifetime.

Note that due to the limited number of samples of each food, the results in the table below do not address unit-to-unit or lot-to-lot variation in perchlorate levels in foods nor should the data be used by consumers to determine food choices. Additional TDS samples will be analyzed in 2008 in order to expand this data set.

Table 1. TDS Perchlorate Data for 2005/2006

(1) ND = Not Detected
(2) NT = Not Tested
(3) The estimated limit of quantitation (LOQ) is 3.00 parts per billion (ppb)
(4) The estimated limit of detection (LOD) is 1.00 ppb
(5) * Estimated value; result was below LOQ but above LOD
(6) ** Samples collected and analyzed in 2006
(7) *** Samples collected and analyzed in 2005

TDS Food CategoryTDS Food #Food DescriptionPerchlorate Level (ppb)
Market Basket
Market Basket
Market Basket
Market Basket
164Butter, regular (salted)NDNDNTNT
10Cheese, American, processed5.411.998.2
12Cheese, cheddar, natural (sharp/mild)3.34.785.3
236Cheese, Swiss, natural6.
332Cottage cheese, creamed, lowfat (2% milk fat)
237Cream cheese6.
168Cream substitute, non-dairy, liquid/frozenND1.3*NTNT
167Half & Half cream7.
177Ice cream, light, vanilla10.3695.7
286Ice cream, regular, vanilla7.
331Meal replacement, liquid RTD, any flavorNDNDNTNT
7Milk shake, chocolate, fast-food9.94.4NTNT
3Milk, chocolate, lowfat, fluid9.85.8NTNT
2Milk, lowfat (2%), fluid6.46.2NTNT
4Milk, skim, fluid85.3NTNT
1Milk, whole, fluid8.95.3NTNT
368Pudding, ready-to-eat, flavor other than chocolate4.*
287Sherbet, fruit-flavored5.31.5*2.6*3.7
300Sour cream2020.86.13.5
333Sour cream dip, any flavor27.53.5184.4
235Yogurt, lowfat, fruit-flavored10.55.574.1
37Eggs, boiledND1.5*NTNT
35Eggs, scrambled w/ oil1.3*1.2*31*
Baby Food***
731BF, apples w/fruit other than berriesNDNDND1.2
730BF, apples with berriesNDNDNDND
225BF, applesauceNDNDND0.5 *
717BF, apricots w/tapND0.7 *0.9 *0.7 *
723BF, arrowroot cookies0.9 *2.221.7
719BF, banana/appleNDNDNDND
715BF, bananas & pineappleND2.10.5 *NT
313BF, bananas w/tapND0.6NDND
727BF, beef & noodlesND1.33.11.5
205BF, beef and broth/gravyNDNDNDND
218BF, carrots2.
700BF, cereal, barleyND0.6 *0.9 *0.9 *
701BF, cereal, mixedND1.32.60.7 *
323BF, cereal, oatmeal1.1ND2.311.1
324BF, cereal, riceNDNDND0.7 *
325BF, cereal, rice w/applesND2.10.6 *1.6
207BF, chicken and broth/gravyNDNDNDND
214BF, chicken noodle dinner0.7 *
726BF, chicken w/ rice0.6 *0.7 *2.02.1
232BF, custard/pudding2.
722BF, dutch apple bettyNDNDNDND
233BF, fruit dessert/pudding0.5 *ND1.41.9
219BF, green beans3.
202BF, Infant formula, milk, hi-FeND2.52.02.0
203BF, Infant formula, milk, lo-Fe1.2ND3.62.1
309BF, infant formula, soyNDND0.8 *0.8 *
230BF, juice, appleNDNDNDND
703BF, juice, apple-bananaND0.8 *2.60.7 *
704BF, juice, apple-cherryND0.8 *2.01.1
705BF, juice, apple-grapeND1.42.43.2
712BF, juice, grape1.
710BF, juice, mixed fruitND11.91.51.0
231BF, juice, orangeNDND0.5 *NT
711BF, juice, pearNDND0.6 *0.6 *
327BF, lamb w/gravyNDNDNDND
729BF, macaroni & cheese1.
215BF, macaroni, tomato and beef1.
220BF, mixed vegetables4.
725BF, oatmeal w/ fruit0.7 *0.9 *2.01.4
720BF, peach cobbler1.
226BF, peachesND6.92.2ND
227BF, pearsNDNDNDND
713BF, pears & pineappleNDNDND0.8 *
223BF, peasND0.5 *NDND
714BF, plums with rice/tapNDNDND1.6
320BF, squash1.
221BF, sweet potatoes1.
317BF, teething biscuits3.
216BF, turkey and rice0.6 *1.60.7ND
328BF, turkey w/gravyNDNDNDND
326BF, veal w/gravyNDNDNDND
728BF, vegetables w/turkey1.
211BF, vegetables and beef0.7 *
212BF, vegetables and chicken1.
213BF, vegetables and ham0.6 *1.21.1NT
721BF, yogurt w/ fruit1.
724BF, zwieback toast1.
14Beef roast, chuck, oven RNDNDNTNT
334Beef steak, loin/sirloin, broiledNDNDNTNT
13Beef, ground, regular, pan-cookedND1*NTNT
29Bologna (beef/pork)
339Catfish, pan-cooked w/ oilNDNDNTNT
336Chicken breast, fried, fast-food (w/ skin)5.63.9ND1.7*
240Chicken breast, oven-roasted (skin removed)NDNDNTNT
338Chicken leg, fried, fast-food (w/ skin)ND1.4*NTNT
241Chicken nuggets, fast-food14.14.61.7*2.3*
337Chicken thigh, oven-roasted (skin removed)NDNDNTNT
34Fish sticks or patty, frozen, oven-cooked2.3*3.62.4*15.7
28Frankfurter (beef/pork), boiled11.61.1*ND1.9*
17Ham, cured (not canned), baked1931.312.55.5
22Lamb chop, pan-cooked w/ oilNDNDNTNT
27Liver (beef/calf), pan-cooked w/ oilNDNDNTNT
335Luncheon meat (chicken/turkey)6.522.56.51.8*
239Luncheon meat (ham)8.316.36.76.2
20Pork bacon, oven-cooked30.72.8*38.56.3
18Pork chop, pan-cooked w/ oilND1.6*NTNT
21Pork roast, loin, oven-roasted3.58.72.7*5
19Pork sausage (link/patty), oven-cookedND1.7*NTNT
30Salami, luncheon-meat type (not hard)2.8*1*2.8*6.4
318Salmon, steaks/fillets, bakedNDNDNTNT
244Shrimp, boiled157.621.220.320.8
340Tuna, canned in water, drainedNDNDNTNT
26Turkey breast, oven-roasted12.2NDNDND
47Peanut butter, creamy1*NDNDND
48Peanuts, dry roasted, saltedND1.4*NTNT
38Pinto beans, dry, boiled1.3*NDNTNT
39Pork and beans, cannedNDNDNTNT
341Refried beans, canned1.5*NDNTNT
343Sunflower seeds (shelled), roasted, saltedNDNDNTNT
342White beans, dry, boiledNDNDNTNT
Grains/Starches/Baked Goods**
185Apple pie, fresh/frozen27.5NDNDND
249Bagel, plain, toasted12.422.115.92.5*
61Biscuits, refrigerated-type, baked5.
248Bread, cracked wheat4.*
64Bread, rye4.82.8*3.31.6*
58Bread, white, enriched2.9*2.9*9.11.9*
62Bread, whole wheat6.34.81.7*1.4*
345Breakfast tart/toaster pastryND1.4*NTNT
178Cake, chocolate w/ icing1.9*4.11.1*1.6*
369Cake, yellow w/ icing1.2*2.7*1.5*9
183Chocolate chip cookies1.1*NDNTNT
71Corn flakes cerealNDNDNTNT
53Corn/hominy grits, enriched, cookedNDNDNTNT
67Corn/tortilla chips1.3*1.4*NDND
60Cornbread, homemade3.6*3.6*3.52.2*
252Crackers, butter-type2.8*1.7*1.6*ND
251Crackers, graham1*NDNTNT
66Crackers, saltine1.6*2.6*NDND
52Cream of wheat (farina), enriched, cookedNDNDNTNT
75Crisped rice cerealNDNDNTNT
290Doughnut, cake-type, any flavor5.51.7*52.9*
250English muffin, plain, toasted72.62.4*4.23.6
72Fruit-flavored cereal, presweetenedND1.2*NTNT
370Granola bar, w/ raisins2.3*2.3*2.1*1.8*
76Granola w/ raisins3.
346Macaroni salad, from grocery/deliND1.2*NTNT
65Muffin, fruit or plain1.6*1.7*ND1.6*
69Noodles, egg, enriched, boiledNDNDNTNT
77Oat ring cereal5.
51Oatmeal, plain, cookedND1.4*NTNT
344Pancakes, frozen, heated5.68.92.5*5.5
372Popcorn, microwave, butter-flavoredNDNDNTNT
294Pretzels, hard, salted1.8*4.1NDND
186Pumpkin pie, fresh/frozen4.
74Raisin bran cereal2.9*3.91.9*2.6*
50Rice, white, enriched, cookedNDNDNTNT
184Sandwich cookies w/ crème fillingND1.4*ND1*
73Shredded wheat cereal2.4*1.2*ND1.2*
347Spaghetti, enriched, boiledNDNDNTNT
292Sugar cookies1.5*1.4*ND1.2*
182Sweet roll/Danish pastry2.7*NDNTNT
63Tortilla, flour59.41.3*4.631.5
78Apple (red), raw (w/ peel)NDNDNTNT
99Apple juice, bottledND1.6*NDND
84Applesauce, bottledNDNDNTNT
348Apricots, canned in heavy/light syrup2.2*NDNTNT
97Avocado, raw12.3NDNDND
80Banana, rawNDNDNTNT
89Cantaloupe, raw/frozen1.4*70.3241.9*
351Cranberry juice cocktail, canned/bottledNDNDNTNT
87Fruit cocktail, canned in light syrupNDNDNTNT
350Fruit juice blend (100% juice), canned/bottledNDNDNTNT
257Grape juice, frozen conc, reconstitutedND4.71*3.3
100Grapefruit juice, frozen conc, reconstituted2.3*NDNDND
92Grapefruit, rawNDNDNTNT
88Grapes (red/green), raw6.614170.6ND
79Orange (navel/Valencia), rawND2.6*5.42.4*
352Orange juice, bottled/cartonNDNDNTNT
98Orange juice, frozen conc, reconstituted12.81.9*6.31.5*
254Peach, canned in light/medium syrupNDNDNTNT
83Peach, raw/frozenND5.1NDND
255Pear, canned in light syrupNDNDNTNT
85Pear, raw (w/ peel)2*NDNDND
256Pineapple juice, frozen conc, reconstituted3.83.3ND7
93Pineapple, canned in juice1.4*1.4*ND3.3
103Prune juice, bottled2.6*2.5*1.2*1.8*
86Strawberries, raw/frozenNDNDNTNT
81Watermelon, raw/frozen2.6*42.6ND1.8*
115Asparagus, fresh/frozen, boiled11.81.6*ND4.6
131Beets, cannedND3.52.6*ND
299Black olivesNDNDNTNT
113Broccoli, fresh/frozen, boiled8.31.3*1.5*4.7
263Brussels sprouts, fresh/frozen, boiled6.48.17.8ND
110Cabbage, fresh, boiled5.11.8*1.3*2.4*
356Carrot, baby, raw711.5NTNT
259Carrot, fresh, peeled, boiled3.
116Cauliflower, fresh/frozen, boiledND1.8*25.9ND
114Celery, raw1.9*2.2*1.5*ND
355Coleslaw, mayonnaise-type, from grocery/deli5.19.81.6*1.7*
108Collards, fresh/frozen, boiled11.437.713.38.5
55Corn, cannedNDNDNTNT
54Corn, fresh/frozen, boiledNDNDNTNT
123Cucumber, peeled, raw8643.8ND
161Dill cucumber pickles5.91.2*1.7*1.2*
265Eggplant, fresh, peeled, boiled3.56.32.8*3.8
122Green beans, canned4.
121Green beans, fresh/frozen, boiled15.612.82*5.3
109Lettuce, iceberg, raw1.2*3.13.5ND
357Lettuce, leaf, raw2*6.7NTNT
42Lima beans, immature, frozen, boiledNDNDNTNT
268Mixed vegetables, frozen, boiled1.4*NDNTNT
264Mushrooms, rawNDNDNTNT
267Okra, fresh/frozen, boiled1.2*1*ND4.3
128Onion, mature, rawNDNDNTNT
46Peas, green, frozen, boiled1.5*NDNTNT
125Pepper, sweet, green, raw5.426.79.56.2
138Potato chipsND7.3NTNT
353Potato salad, mayonnaise-type, from grocery/deli1*1.7*1.4*ND
137Potato, baked (w/ peel)1.9*NDNTNT
136Potato, boiled (w/out peel)NDNDNTNT
258Potato, french-fried, fast-food19.66.25.726.4
354Potato, mashed, prepared from fresh1*NDNTNT
107Spinach, fresh/frozen, boiled11.653.52965.9
126Squash, winter (Hubbard/acorn), fresh/frozen, boiled3.62*2.7*1.4*
124Summer squash, fresh/frozen, boiled17.573.6134.2
358Sweet potatoes, cannedNDNDNTNT
173Tomato catsup1.8*NDND1*
261Tomato juice, bottledNDNDNTNT
359Tomato salsa, bottled1*15.4ND1.7*
119Tomato sauce, plain, bottled1.7*1.7*NDND
117Tomato, raw81.174.910254.1
266Turnip, fresh/frozen, boiled2.8*9.37ND
298Yellow mustard1.8*2.6*ND1.1*
Mixtures (e.g., casseroles, sandwiches, soups, pizza)**
360Beef and vegetable stew, canned2.1**
269Beef stroganoff w/ noodles, homemadeND1.7*NTNT
362Beef w/ vegetables in sauce, from Chinese carry-out2.3*1.7*3.56.8
374Brown gravy, canned or bottledND15.5ND3.9
365Burrito w/ beef, beans and cheese, from Mexican carry-out2.4*
366Chicken filet (broiled) sandwich on bun, fast-food12.
152Chicken potpie, frozen, heated5.34.53.318
363Chicken w/ vegetables in sauce, from Chinese carry-out1.9*774.86.9
145Chili con carne w/ beans, canned1.6*1.6*3.92.3*
285Clam chowder, New England, canned, cond, prepared w/ whole milk6.*
278Egg, cheese, and ham on English muffin, fast-food7.92.9*4.37.8
276Fish sandwich on bun, fast-food3.93.32.5*2.2*
364Fried rice, meatless, from Chinese carry-out1.6*2.3*2.9*ND
361Lasagna w/ meat, frozen, heated1.9*3.62.5*2.7*
146Macaroni and cheese, prepared from box mix6.
148Meatloaf, beef, homemadeND1.2*NTNT
281Pizza, cheese and pepperoni, regular crust, from pizza carry-out4.233.33.9
275Quarter-pound cheeseburger on bun, fast-food4.52.7*4.61.8*
147Quarter-pound hamburger on bun, fast-food1.3*31.4*1.3*
283Soup, bean w/ bacon/pork, canned, cond, prepared w/ water1.3*NDNTNT
155Soup, chicken noodle, canned, cond, prepared w/ waterND8.2ND1.4*
367Soup, Oriental noodles (ramen noodles), prepared w/ waterND1.1*NTNT
156Soup, tomato, canned, cond, prepared w/ waterNDNDNTNT
157Soup, vegetable beef, canned, cond, prepared w/ water3.514.15.41.9*
142Spaghetti w/ meat sauce, homemadeNDNDNTNT
279Taco/tostada w/ beef and cheese, from Mexican carry-out2.1*27.511.51.1*
272Tuna noodle casserole, homemade2.2*3.62.8*2.7*
371Candy bar, chocolate, nougat, and nuts2.1*2.3*2.4*2.4*
187Candy bar, milk chocolate, plain10.111.611.912.1
293Candy, hard, any flavorNDNDNTNT
190Gelatin dessert, any flavorNDNDNTNT
296Jelly, any flavor1.2*1.3*ND5.7
169Sugar, white, granulatedNTNTNTNT
373Sweet & sour sauce8.51*2*1*
295Syrup, chocolateNDNDNTNT
170Syrup, pancakeNDNDNTNT
162Margarine, regular (salted)NDNDNTNT
166Mayonnaise, regular, bottled1*NDNTNT
378Olive oilNDNDNTNT
376Salad dressing, creamy/buttermilk type, low-calorie5.72.1*ND2.1*
375Salad dressing, creamy/buttermilk type, regular6.12.3*ND2.3*
377Salad dressing, Italian, regularNDNDNTNT
379Vegetable oilNDNDNTNT
380Bottled drinking water (mineral/spring), not carbonated or flavoredNDNDNTNT
194Carbonated beverage, cola, low-calorie2.5*NDNTNT
191Carbonated beverage, cola, regularNDNDNTNT
306Carbonated beverage, fruit-flavored, regularNDNDNTNT
305Coffee, from groundNDNDNTNT
381Decaffeinated coffee, from groundNDNDNTNT
382Decaffeinated tea, from tea bagNDNDNTNT
307Fruit drink (10% juice), canned or bottledNDNDNTNT
193Fruit drink, from powderNDNDNTNT
105Lemonade, frozen conc, reconstitutedNDNDNTNT
288Popsicle, fruit-flavoredNDNDNTNT
197Tea, from tea bagNDNDNTNT
199Wine, dry table, red/ white3.


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