Database of food nutrient contents

The National Food Institute continues a very long tradition of publishing tables of food nutrient contents relating to the foods available on the Danish market. Food tables are one of the basic tools being used in the science of nutrition, and tables of food nutrient contents have been published in Denmark for more than 125 years.

The tables were previously printed, but these days the National Food Institute publishes food data online in a mobile-friendly database, which contains information about the content of energy and nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fat, protein and carbohydrates) in more than 1,000 foods. The database aims to reflect the food supply in Denmark.

Users can search for information in Frida.fooddata.dk. They can also download data onto their own PCs and continue working with the data there. The database is especially relevant to people who work with nutrition in a professional setting.

Updating Frida Food Data

The intention is for data to be as correct and up-to-date as resources allow. The National Food Institute carries out a number of chemical analysis projects in cooperation with the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) as part of an annual grant from the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark. The institute – in accordance with an agreement with the DVFA – is also developing ways to cooperate with parts of the food industry that are able to contribute data based on chemical analysis.

Since only a limited number of foods can be included in the analytical projects that are initiated each year to update data some of the data in the database are inevitably older. The National Food Institute works to ensure that this has as little bearing as possible on the nutrient calculations for which Frida.fooddata.dk is used.

Updated data on bread, meat, processed meats, eggs and dairy products have been collected in recent years, and the new data are being transferred to Frida.fooddata.dk. Some of the reasons that these food categories have been prioritized are that there have been major changes in the supply of bread products on the market; a model is being developed that can predict the nutrient content of dairy products based on certain parameters; and eggs have not been analyzed for many years.

The analyses have shown that the nutrient contents of foods have generally remained stable. There are e.g. no noteworthy differences between the data on nutrient content of eggs today and 50 year old data, which goes to show that old data are not necessarily out-of-date.

Food selection and analytical choices

When selecting foods for analysis, an assessment is made about how much various population groups eat of different foods and how much these foods contribute to their intake of various nutrients.

Foods are mainly analyzed in the form in which they are marketed to the consumer. The National Food Institute is aware of product categories where changes in production can have an impact on nutrient content. These days e.g. more salmon are farmed rather than wild, and Danes eat different cuts of meat than previously, just like new types of bread are emerging on the market.

As Danes acquire new dietary habits the ambition is to ensure these new foods are analyzed to provide data on their nutrient contents. The institute will also focus on analyzing foods that are used as ingredients in composite foods in order to strengthen the basis for calculating the nutrient contents of composite foods.

Access the database here: http://frida.fooddata.dk/.

Contact

Tue Christensen
Senior adviser
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 75 30
http://www.food.dtu.dk/english/service/about-the-institute/facilities-and-infrastructure/database-of-food-nutrient-contents
20 APRIL 2018