| Food Composition Data: A User's Perspective (1987) |
|International food composition data|
|Food composition data in Sweden and the nordic countries|
Other Swedish data bases
During the last few years several nutrient data banks have been created and still more are planned. Today the Administration is aware of about 30 different systems.
The main applications of these systems are: nutrient calculation and analysis; recipe and product development; diet planning and analysis; menu planning; food production and control; and education and information.
The owners of nutrient data banks in Sweden represent the following categories: national authorities; regional and local authorities; universities and schools; food industries; wholesalers; and publishing and computer firms.
At the national level four national authorities are using nutrient data banks. The Administration can use the bank for nearly all purposes mentioned above but the most important task is nutrient analyses of large-scale nutrition surveys. The system used by the National Agricultural Market Board is applicable to nutrient calculation combined with food-consumption statistics and food-supply calculations.
The county councils of Sweden are responsible for health and welfare. Some of them are now using computers in the planning of cycle menus and of special diets and dietary analyses combined with patient counselling. Local authorities are also using their nutrient data banks for menu planning in different institutions, and for school lunches.
Five universities (in Gothenburg, Lund, Stockholm, Umea, and Uppsala) have access to nutrient data banks. All of them also have close connections with large research hospitals. For research, training, education, dietary counselling, planning of special diets, etc., several institutes and departments need nutrient data banks. Swedish university units that now use nutrient data bases include nutrition and dietetics, medicine, odontology, food science and economics, home economics, psychology, sociology, European ethnology, cultural anthropology, economic history, and economics.
Large food industries use the banks for nutrient analysis for labelling and product information. Recipe or product development with evaluation of proposed product changes is another application.
One Swedish wholesaler has a private nutrient data bank. The test kitchen of this firm uses the bank and provides many restaurants with nutrient-analysis and menuplanning services. For the present, the other wholesalers are buying these services.
The oldest of the private nutrient data-base systems is Diet and Nutrition Data. This company serves different user categories with nutrient calculations and analyses. Other systems are more specialized, serving restaurants, catering companies, hospitals, etc.
Nearly all the nutrient data banks in Sweden are under development; the systems are growing and becoming more sophisticated. At present, a certain co-ordination is desirable.