| Food Composition Data: A User's Perspective (1987) |
|The uses of food composition data|
|Using food composition data to communicate nutrition to the consumer|
Comments on selected nutrients in NUTREDFO
NUTREDFO users should note that data for some nutrients and food constituents are severely limited or subject to question due to the lack of a standardized methodology. These nutrients are folacin, pantothenic acid, zinc, and "added sugar." Caution should be used when basing nutrition guidance decisions on levels of these nutrients or when reporting these levels in menus, food plans, or other information materials.
Folacin values have been published for only a few forms of various foods. Imputations were necessary to apply these generalized values to specific NUTREDFO foods. In addition, there is conflicting information about the analytical methodology to be used for folacin [62, 63].
Pantothenic acid is also a nutrient for which available methodology provides conflicting information [62, 63]. Although some studies have been conducted to analyse pantothenic acid values, data for processed and prepared foods are still limited , and it was necessary to impute levels in many foods.
Published data for zinc are very limited. A 1975 article by Murphy et al.  provided data for some important levels of zinc and for widely consumed foods as reported in USDA's 1965/66 Household Food Consumption Survey .
Because of the interest in added sugar in the diet, estimates were included in the NUTREDFO system. These values represent the grams of carbohydrate found in excess of those naturally occurring in the food. All "added sugar" values, except ready-to-eat (RTE) cereals, were imputed. RTE breakfast cereals have been analysed for their total sugar content [37, 38]. Since RTE cereals with no added sugar have less than one gram of sugar per 100 grams, total sugar values were used.
Although data on the levels of magnesium, and vitamins B6 and B12, were reported in the 1977/78 Nationwide Food Consumption Survey (NFCS) , data for some foods are limited. In addition there is conflicting information about analytical methodology for vitamin B12 [63, 68]. Care should be exercised when interpreting information about these nutrients.
Sodium values in the NUTREDFO permanent data base represent only naturally occurring sodium and sodium added during processing and in recipes. Table salt and salt added during preparation at home are not included. In response to consumer demand for products containing less sodium, some companies are lowering the levels of salt and sodium-containing compounds in products that have traditionally provided substantial amounts of dietary sodium [40, 54, 61]. Consideration will be given to including these products in the NUTREDFO nutrient data file if they become a significant percentage of market-place sales. The NUTREDFO software program has the capability of allowing users to temporarily adjust nutrient values. This capability can be used to test the impact of these new retail products in menu planning or other activities.