| Food Composition Data: A User's Perspective (1987) |
|The uses of food composition data|
|Using food composition data to communicate nutrition to the consumer|
NUTREDFO system development
NUTREDFO is a computerized data base system containing three data files and a nutrient analysis software program. Because nutrition education researchers need expansive nutrient information on foods representative of consumption practices, primary consideration in development of the data base was given to: (a) providing complete nutrient profiles of food items with all values verified with original source data; (b) identifying and including commonly consumed foods available in the market-place in simplest edible form; (c) developing analysis and data manipulation programs with maximum flexibility for users; and (d) selecting and validating all data to assure a high-quality, documented data base in which the user could have confidence. The data-base system has been field tested in five university settings with positive results.
The first of the NUTREDFO data files is a permanent file of nutrient values for about 460 commonly used foods. This file is called "permanent" because it cannot be changed in any way by the user. With only a few exceptions, these foods are frequently consumed by the US population and are nationally available for purchase at the retail level. In general, data are given for each food in its most basic, edible state. For each food, values are supplied for 26 nutrients and food constituents (energy, protein, fat, carbohydrate, calcium, iron values, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins A, B6 B12, and C, pantothenic acid, folacin, alcohol, added sugar, saturated, mono- and polyunsaturated fats, and cholesterol). All zero values were validated to eliminate incomplete or missing data. Values were imputed in instances where published values were not available.
The second NUTREDFO file is a temporary nutrient file that was created to enable users to temporarily store nutrient values for food items that are not part of the permanent nutrient data base. It can be accessed at any time in the NUTREDFO software program, allowing the user to tailor that program for special project or research needs.
The third file provides documentation on all values in the permanent nutrient file. An 11-digit coding system provides on-line information about the original source for each nutrient and constituent value.
The system capabilities of the nutrient analysis software program are listed in table 1. NUTREDFO will: list nutrient and food constituent levels; rank order foods by nutrient level, per cent standard (1980 Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) , USRDA, nutrient density standards) or Index of Nutritional Quality  for nutrients; calculate means, standard deviations, ranges for nutrients in food groups, days, meals; calculate per cent calories from protein, fat, carbohydrate, alcohol; calculate nutrient amounts per 1,000kcal for meals, days, multi-day grouping; and allow users to change serving size and nutrient levels of foods to examine the effects for nutrition education purposes.