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 Updated 2016-03-10

 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.


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Indian food composition tables 2017.

The Indian food composition tables 2017 have been published. A PDF copy of the tables can be downloaded.
For more information see the Indian FCDB site.
FAO/INFOODS dataset on pulses published.

The FAO/INFOODS Global food composition database for pulses – version 1.0 (uPulses1.0) has been published.
For more information, see the FAO/INFOODS website.
FAO/INFOODS dataset on fish and shellfish published.

The FAO/INFOODS Global food composition database for fish and shellfish – version 1.0 (uFiSh1.0) - 2016 has been published.
For more information, see the FAO/INFOODS website.
Ciqual 2016 online.

Ciqual 2016, the French food composition table, is online;
for more information see the ANSES website.