| Food Composition Data: A User's Perspective (1987) |
|International food composition data|
|Food composition data in Sweden and the nordic countries|
Swedish national nutrient data bases
In the early 1960s the National Institute of Public Health developed a nutrient data bank based mainly on the Abramson food composition table and data supplied by the food industry in Sweden. Since 1981, a new data bank has been prepared by the National Food Administration. This bank was first set up in order to expedite nutrient calculations in surveys, and began at the same time that the data collection for an extensive nutrition survey of children was under way in 1980-1981; it was first used for the nutrient analysis of the different food intake forms collected during this survey. The bank at present contains the nutritive values of 1,250 foods and about 1,200 recipes, including a large number of baby foods and certain catering products. For each item, the values for the energy, water, ash, and 31 other nutrients are given. For catering products only 12 nutrients are included (table 1).
Table 1. Nutrients in the Swedish National Nutrient Data Base
|Energy (kJ and kcal)a||Vitamin B6|
|Vitamin D||Saturated fatty acids|
|Vitamin E total||Monoenes|
a. Nutrients for catering products.
Of special interest are a number of codes containing averages for different food groups. There are, for example, nutritive values for fresh vegetables based on the average consumption of different vegetables. These aggregate codes are used in certain types of planning, and in the calculation of average consumption figures from official statistics, which is carried out in cooperation with the national Agricultural Market Board. These codes are also suitable for nutrient calculations of dietary history forms.
In recipe calculation, food yields and changes of the nutrient content of dishes have been considered. Food-yield factors are based on both American and Swedish values, while factors of vitamin losses are based on different published data. Analyses of nutrient changes during preparation of certain common Swedish dishes are now in progress at the Food Administration.
At present, information on several nutrients is being incorporated: data on additional vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, and also on different carbohydrate fractions (including added refined sugars), dietary fibre, and fatty acids. The enlarged bank will be ready for use in 1986.
The Food Administration's nutrient data-base system is adapted for the user. After a few hours of instruction, a person can enter a seven-day record and calculate the nutrient content. More advanced statistical treatment requires a few days' training. At present, either partial or complete copies of this nutrient data bank are being used by, for example, the Departments of Nutrition and of Home Economics Education in some Swedish universities, by the National Agricultural Market board, by the Material Administration of the Armed Forces, and by some county councils.