This integrated data system contains—in one place—five distinct types of data containing information on food and nutrient profiles, each with a unique purpose. Two of the data types—Foundation Foods and Experimental Foods—represent “a bridge to the future” in food and nutrient composition. They provide data that has never previously been available:
Foundation Foods includes nutrient values as well as extensive underlying metadata on commercially available foods, such as the number of samples, sampling location, date of collection, analytical approaches used, and if appropriate, agricultural information such as genotype and production practices. With their enhanced clarity and transparency, Foundation Foods data can provide valuable insights into the many factors that influence variability in nutrient profiles.
Experimental Foods will include information from multiple sources about foods that have been produced under experimental conditions and are not commercially available. The agricultural data in Experimental Foods will allow users to examine a range of factors, such as geography and agricultural practices used, that may affect the nutritional profiles of foods and resulting dietary intake.
Standard Reference has been the primary food composition data type in the United States for decades. Using earlier approaches to determining nutrient profiles of foods in the marketplace, it provides a comprehensive list of values for nutrients and food components that are derived from calculations and analyses.
Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies provides nutrient values for the foods and beverages reported in "What We Eat in America," the dietary intake component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies data facilitates analyses of dietary intakes reported in NHANES as well as many other dietary research studies.
Global Branded Food Products Database is data from a public-private partnership whose goal is to enhance the open sharing of nutrient data that appears on branded and private label foods and are provided by the food industry. Information in Branded Foods is received from food industry data providers, and USDA supports Branded Foods by standardizing the presentation of the data. This data type is used in consumer education, research studies, and food label regulatory efforts.