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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.





New release of Brazilian Food Composition Table.

Version 6.0 of the Brazilian Food Composition Table is now available.
See the TBCA website.
Release of the Nigerian Food Composition Database.

Version 1.0 of the Nigerian Food Composition Database is now available.
See the Nigeria Food Data website.
New release of the NZ Food Composition Database

The 2017 release of the NZFCD products are now available on the NZFCD website.
A farm to fork ontology.

FoodOn is a new ontology built to represent entities which bear a “food role”, currently based largely on LanguaL.
For more information,
see the FoodOn site.