| Food Composition Data: A User's Perspective (1987) |
|The uses of food composition data|
|Nutrient composition data uses and needs of food companies|
The need for good nutrient composition data is recognized by most reputable food companies. The basic objective of any food company is to supply to consumers a highly acceptable food product that will satisfy their nutritional needs while respecting safety standards.
The need for food composition data varies depending on the degree of processing and added value that is applied to the food product. The food industry is a heterogeneous business in that its products range from foods with no (or minimal) processing to highly refined and specific medical foods. These different levels of processing and market orientation determine the need and uses for nutrient composition by food companies.
The frequency of consumption of a food product also determines its importance in the diet and thus the need for nutritional evaluation. Some food products are used only occasionally and therefore have minimal nutritional impact on humans. Others are used regularly and their nutritional composition can be a critical concern for both consumer and manufacturer. The development of complete meals and specialty products for specific groups within the population has further emphasized the need for precise nutritional data.