| Food Composition Data: A User's Perspective (1987) |
|International food composition data|
|The status of food composition data in Asia|
The future of ASIAFOODS
The initial steps to be taken by ASIAFOODS will be to establish national committees, a secretariat, and effective channels of communication between ASIAFOODS countries. The national committee will be the country's contact point with ASIAFOODS and will determine specific needs, mobilize available resources, and endeavour to establish an environment favourable to the development of good food composition data within the country. The ASIAFOODS secretariat will serve as the contact point for ASIAFOODS with the national committees. The overall activities of ASIAFOODS will be organized and co-ordinated by the secretariat, which will be under the supervision of the chairperson of the executive committee
Table 1. Available food composition data (FCD) in Asia countries
|Food composition tables (FCT), latest date published||Data generators||Data users||Data uses||Unmet needs||Plans|
|National FCT, 1969 FAO FCT for South- East Asia Nutritional Value Indian Foods||Dept. of Health Services Dept. of Medical Research||Nutrition/health professionals Primary health care planners||Nutrition assessment Formulation of weaning food Nutrition education||Not available||Not available|
|National FCT, 1981||Nutrition and Food Hygiene Dept.||Hospital dieticians Nutrition workers Child-care centres Food manufacturers||Diet management of patients Diet planning||Unavailable data for cooked foods, snacks, and other common foods||Add new components to FCT|
|National FCT, 1%7||National Institute for Health Research and Development Nutrition Research and Development Center Other related institutes||Nutrition professionals Students Agricultural workers Central Bureau of Statistics||Food balance sheets Nutrition surveys||Incomplete FCT||Collect data on natural foods Re-analyse carotene, vitamin A, Fe, etc.|
|National FCT, 1982 Selected component FCTs||Japan Food Research Laboratory National Institute of Health||Nutritionists Dieticians Students||Nutrition surveys||Selected nutrients related to health problems||Develop functional nutrition activities Develop system for updating FCT, etc.|
|National FCT, 1981||Office of Rural Development National Institute of Health||Nutrition professionals Students Planners||National economic plans Food balance sheets Menu planning||Data for cooked foods, fast foods, infant formulae||Upgrade data compilation Edit RDA guide Develop education materials for all levels of knowledge|
|National FCT, 1980 FAO FCT for East Asia||Institute of Medical Research in Collaboration with Food Science and Technology Section of the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MARDI)||Nutritionists Dieticians||Foods consumption study||Insufficient information on local foods Incomplete nutrient contents Limited personnel, equipment, analy sis methodology||Management of food composi tion data with computers|
|No National FCT Indian FCT FAO FCT for East Asia||Central Food Research Laboratory - Ministry of Agriculture||Planners and decision- makers Nutrition/health professionals Home scientists Research workers||Formulate diets, weaning food||Lack of nutritive value and toxicity for wild foods||Develop sound food and nutrition policy Analyse available wild edible plants|
|Papua New Guinea|
|National FCT, 1978 Tables of Representative Values of Foods Commonly Used in Tropical Countries, 1962 South Pacific Foods, 1958 FCT in Pacific Islands||Papua New Guinea University of Technology University of Papua New Guinea Dept. of Primary Industry||Not available||Not available||Insufficient data for root crops, pandanus, tropical fish, and manufactured food||Upgrade food ana Iysis equipment within the region|
|National FCT, 1980||Food and Nutrition Research Institute in conjunction with government and private research agencies||Nutrition/health professionals Food technologists Chemists Planners and economists||Nutrition information Nutrition assessment/ epidemiology Diet counselling, meal planning, plant and animal breeding Economic planning||Analysis methodology limited Insufficient nutrients analysed Insufficient analysis trials of each food item||Resolve sampling problems Determine which foods/nutrients to analyse Update FCT|
|National FCT- 10% Sri Lankan foods and 90% Indian||Central Agricultural Research Institute Tea and Coconut Research Institute Ceylon Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research Medical Research Institute National Aquatic Resources Agency||Nutrition/health professionals Nutrition educators Nutrition and food planners||Not available||Complete Sri Lankan FCT Inadequate analytical equipment and facilities||Improve lab facilities Request assistance from outside agencies|
|Composition of Foods Used in Taiwan, 1961 Table of Taiwan Food Composition, 1974 Table of Amino Acid Composition of Taiwan Foods, 1973 USDA FCT for East Asia FCT for Japan||Taiwan University Food industry Research and Development Institute||Dieticians University students||Not available||Inadequate and out-of-date FCT||Evaluate, re analyse certain food items for FTC|
|National FCT, 1978 Amino Acid Composition, 19X4||Nutrition Division, Dept. of Health Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University Division of Food Analysis,Dept. of Medical Science Division of Biological Science Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technical Research||Nutritionists Health research scientists Dieticians Food industrialists||Menu planning Product development Nutrition education Consumer protection labelling||FCT lacks information on some minerals, elemeets, fatty acids, sugars in fruits||National colla boration project to generate new data New analytical procedures Organize data in tables and computerize|
The fundamental objective of ASIAFOODS is the sharing of scientific knowledge and international collaboration relating to food composition data. Useful and effective media for communicating this information throughout the region will need to be identified at the earliest opportunity.
The design and implementation of the activities necessary to realize these ASIAFOODS objectives can best be facilitated by meetings of the complete ASIAFOODS membership. Accordingly, a second ASIAFOODS conference will be convened, which will consist of a business meeting and a technical meeting.
The business meeting will address itself to ratifying the ASIAFOODS statutes as well as developing mechanisms of regional collaboration and liaison with INFOODS. A review of progress achieved with ASIAFOODS activities since the First ASIAFOODS Conference will also be made. Finally, the tasks and responsibilities of the ASIAFOODS executive committee and secretariat will be delineated and personnel will be selected to fill these positions.
The technical meeting will in turn be concerned with working through the INFOODS international guide to the development of food composition tables on a country-bycountry basis, and to detail the needs of each country. Small technical meetings will be planned relating to food chemistry, information systems, and usage of food composition data. These meetings will be devoted to the detailed design of subsequent training workshops, and discussions and planning of training needs and system operation will take place. Training is visualized as occurring on three levels:
1. Inter-country training, whereby two or more countries themselves train laboratory workers in the updating, gathering, and handling of food composition data.
2. Regional training, intended for scientists at the supervisory level and to be offered at a specialized regional centre.
3. Inter-regional training, intended for high-level personnel who will visit advanced centres outside the region.
Subsequent to their initiation of these activities, a regional data centre will also be designed; particular attention will be paid to computer hardware selection and installation and the development of appropriate software, and to obtaining the services of a programmer. Arrangements will also be made for software support of INFOODS data interchange standards. There will also be initial training in the use of these facilities for specialists from the various countries of the region.
These activities form the core of the ASIAFOODS plan for the next five years. Drawn up by the executive committee, this plan intends each country in ASIAFOODS to be able to participate and benefit at a level appropriate to its technological capability and political commitment. Rapid progress has been made to date in establishing ASIAFOODS, and increased membership and enhanced scientific and technical collaboration throughout the region are anticipated.
The keen interest in ASIAFOODS and the objectives it is mandated to accomplish clearly reflect the present demand for more reliable and usable food composition data throughout the region. It is intended through the structure of ASIAFOODS to develop collectively a regional food composition data base which will satisfy this demand cost effectively. An international regional organization such as ASIAFOODS, in conjunction with INFOODS, provides a vehicle by which these various objectives can be realized.