Abstract Background A low phenylalanine diet for people with phenylketonuria (PKU) is very restrictive. Natural foods allowed are based chiefly on fruits and vegetables but there is limited analysis on the phenylalanine content of newer and exotic fruit and vegetables. The assumption that 1 g protein yields 50 mg phenylalanine does not apply to fruits and vegetables. Methods The National Society for Phenylketonuria Medical Advisory Panel commissioned the phenylalanine analysis of 172 foods, which emphasis on fruit and vegetables. The foods were purchased from retail outlets and analysed by LGC Limited (67 foods) and the LFI (105 foods). Results There was a strong correlation between this phenylalanine and UK analyses published in 1980, but previous analysis included only a limited range of fruits and vegetables (r = 0.8746; P < 0.0001). There was also correlation between phenylalanine and UK protein analyses (r = 0.7976; P < 0.0001). Conclusion This new phenylalanine data have enabled a wider range of fruits and vegetables to be safely incorporated into the diet of people with PKU.