Vegetable, fruit, and phytonutrient consumption patterns in Taiwan

Wen Harn Pan, Nai Hua Yeh, Ray Yu Yang, Wei Hsuan Lin, Wan Chen Wu, Wen Ting Yeh, Mi Kyung Sung, Haeng Shin Lee, Sue Joan Chang, Ching Jang Huang, Bi Fong Lin, Meng Tsan Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Phytonutrients may play important roles in human health and yet only recently a few studies have described phytonutrient consumption patterns, using data obtained from daily consumption methods. We aimed to estimate the phytonutrient content in Taiwanese diets and analyzed main food sources of 10 major phytonutrients. In this study, food items and dietary data gathered with the 24-hour dietary recall from 2908 participants in the 2005–2008 Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan were used to create a food phytonutrient database with 933 plant-based foods through integrating database, literature search, and chemical analysis and to appraise phytonutrient consumption status of participants. SUDAAN (Survey Data Analysis) was used for generating weighted phytonutrient intake estimates and for statistical testing. In Taiwanese adults, ∼20% met the recommended number of servings for fruits and 30% met that for vegetables from the Taiwan Food-Guide recommendations. However, only 7.4% consumed the recommended numbers for both fruits and vegetables. Those meeting the recommendations tended to be older and with more females compared with those who did not. Phytonutrient intake levels were higher in meeters than nonmeeters. More than 60% of α-carotene, lycopene, hesperetin, epigallocatechin 3-gallate, and isoflavones came from a single phytonutrient-specific food source. In addition, sweet potato leaf, spinach, and water spinach were among the top three sources of multiple phytonutrients. Cross-comparison between this study and two previous studies with similar methodology showed higher mean levels of lycopene and quercetin in the United States, anthocyanidins in Korea, and lutein and zeaxanthin in Taiwan. The Taiwanese phytonutrient pattern is different from that of the Korean and American. It would be interesting to relate phytonutrient patterns to health profiles in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Food and Drug Analysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Pharmacology


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