Evaluation of the comprehensiveness and reliability of the chromium composition of foods in the literature

Mayly Y. Thor, Lisa Harnack, Denise King, Bhaskarani Jasthi, Janet Pettit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In the early 1960s, trivalent chromium Cr3+ became recognized as an essential trace element due to its potential metabolic and cardiovascular benefits. No comprehensive chromium database currently exists; thus a thorough review of the literature was conducted to examine the availability and reliability of chromium data for foods. A number of key issues were identified that challenge the feasibility of adding chromium to a food and nutrient database. Foremost, dietary chromium data reported in the literature prior to 1980 cannot be relied on because of problematic analytical issues before that time. Next, paucity of data emerged as an issue that could impede database completeness. Finally, large variation in reported chromium content of foods may render disputable representative chromium values. This variation has been speculated to originate from differences in growing and particularly processing foods. Furthermore, contamination of chromium from laboratory equipment and/or materials is possible and also believed to contribute to the variation observed in reported values. As a result, database developers must carefully consider the availability and reliability of information on the chromium composition of foods when deciding whether to incorporate chromium into or exclude it from a nutrient database.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1147-1152
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Food Composition and Analysis
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Analytical methods, Contamination issues
  • Chromium
  • Chromium variability
  • Commonly consumed foods
  • Data availability
  • Food and nutrient database
  • Food composition
  • Literature review


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