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Monitoring nutrients in our food supply

(May 2016)

FSANZ, together with some other groups, monitors nutrients in the Australian food supply to inform standards development and compile nutrient databases.
 
FSANZ also monitors the food supply to ensure it is safe and that foods comply with standards for microbiological contaminants, pesticide residue limits and chemical contamination. Read more about FSANZ's work in monitoring the safety of the food supply

Australian Food Composition Program

Under the Australian Food Composition Program FSANZ generates, compiles and publishes high quality Australian reference data on the nutrient composition of foods. This involves:

  • maintaining a custom-built data management system
  • generating nutrient composition data for Australian foods through nutrient analysis and other established food composition techniques
  • compiling the data generated for publication as electronic databases (see below)
  • managing a web-based labelling tool (NPC) (see below)
  • generating specialised datasets for food standards development work and monitoring food standards post-implementation
  • generating specialised datasets for use in national nutrition surveys, for example the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS) component of the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey.

FSANZ commissions external peer reviews of our scientific processes or specific work areas, to ensure our scientific output aligns with international best practice and continues to meet the objectives outlined in the FSANZ Act. 

Read the peer review of FSANZ’s food composition program 

Read FSANZ's Food Program summary reports and results for 2006 and 2008

In New Zealand, the New Zealand Food Composition Database (NZFCD) are compiled by The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited and the Ministry of Health (New Zealand). See www.foodcomposition.co.nz

Food and nutrient databases

FSANZ publishes a number of food composition databases. These databases may be used for a variety of purposes including nutrition labelling, research on diet and disease, education and to help consumers make better informed food choices.

NUTTAB (NUTrient TABles for use in Australia) is Australia’s reference nutrient database. It contains a wide range of foods and nutrients. The nutrients reported in NUTTAB are primarily analysed and as such will vary between foods, according to the data we currently have available.

AUSNUT (AUStralian Food and NUTrient Database) is our series of survey specific nutrient databases that support national nutrition surveys. Foods and nutrients vary according to survey requirements and reflect foods as consumed. Each food has a complete nutrient profile for a specific set of nutrients and as such the derivation of the data varies.
 
FSANZ's Nutritional Panel Calculator (NPC) The NPC is a web-based tool to help businesses prepare nutrition information panels for food labelling purposes. The database that supports the NPC draws on a subset of NUTTAB and AUSNUT data and is available as a separate tool. Foods chosen are likely to be used as ingredients in prepared foods. The NPC includes complete datasets for the seven nutrients which are mandatory for nutrition information panels.
 
The Australian Dietary Guidelines database was developed to compare the food consumption reported in the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey with the recommendations contained in the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG). The database presents data for each food in the AUSNUT 2011-13 dataset in two ways: the gram amount of each ADG food group per 100 grams and the number of serves of ADG food groups per 100 grams. The project was funded by Commonwealth Department of Health and was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

How our data are used in FSANZ

Food composition data are used by FSANZ to:

  • undertake dietary intake assessments (in association with consumption data) which feed into our risk assessment processes
  • assist with fortification monitoring (see links below for further details)
  • help with food standards development work and monitor post implementation of standards.

More information

For more information about food and nutrient composition, please contact npc@foodstandards.gov.au

Monitoring of folic acid fortification

Monitoring of iodine fortification

Monitoring of trans fatty acids

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