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 Updated 2017-04-30

 Method - the ways to determine values in food composition databases

In a broad sense, the term 'method' in food composition refers to the way a certain value has been derived for presentation in the food composition database or table, i.e. has the value been obtained by analysis, by calculation or by deduction, e.g. from another food or by logical deduction.

It is important to indicate how the specific values in a food composition table/database have been derived - is the value a result of chemical analysis, a calculation or estimated/guess (a "guestimate")?

In the draft EuroFIR standard, the value is described with a series of mandatory descriptors using predefined controlled terms in the form of thesauri.
The overall and mandatory value description follows the value closely - in the figure below in the Value table - with Value Type, Acqusisition Type, Method Type, Method Indicator and Method Parameter information. All defined by controlled vocabularies, the socalled EuroFIR Thesauri.

The method specification is a main (currently not mandatory) entity in the draft EuroFIR standard's table metaphor contains detailed description of the analytical or calculation method used to derive the specific value.
The content of the method specification (shown with a red frame in the simple database layout below) is mainly intended for specific chemical (and microbiological) analytical information, but is also suitable for detailed description of calculation methods. The information occupies a database table of its own.


Entity-Relationship Diagram


The Eurofoods Draft Standard (and its Technical Annex) was further refined with the EuroFIR Food Data Transport Package, which in details refined and expanded the previously defined entities.





2021 Release of the New Zealand Food Composition Database.

The 2021 update of New Zealand food composition database (NZFCD) released online on 31st March 2022. For more information, see the EuroFIR website.
7th edition of the Belgian food composition table.

New version of the Belgian printed food composition table. For more information, see the EuroFIR website.
First edition of the Kyrgyz Food Composition Table.

Kyrgyzstan has released their first national food composition table. For more information, see the EuroFIR website.
Version 6.4 of the Swiss food composition database.

The updated Swiss Food Composition Database includes new data from analyses of minerals and vitamins carried out in Switzerland, see the FSVO website.