SCIENTIFIC DATA MANAGEMENT
We continue to actively support and implement the Australian Government Public Data Policy. The FSANZ Data Management Strategy 2016‒2020 has been substantially implemented and is under review to refine future priorities. Key achievements include a Scientific Data Repository that applies a consistent metadata schema to FSANZ data holdings.
Using, maintaining and enhancing our scientific databases and associated tools is an important part of managing our scientific data appropriately. This year we completed minor enhancements to our Harvest database to allow us to more efficiently load and manipulate dietary exposure assessment data.
Food composition database
Silo database development
We completed work on redeveloping our food composition database platform, Silo, which allowed us to decommission our legacy system (the Australian Nutrient Data Bank). The redeveloped platform incorporates a range of enhanced functionality that, together with an upgraded website infrastructure, will allow more efficient compilation and reporting of food composition data and more regular publication of updated food composition data. Future enhancements to Silo will focus on storing and compiling other non-nutrient concentration data for foods and linking these data to the dietary modelling platform Harvest.
Nutrition Panel Calculator (NPC)
The NPC provides the food industry and other users with a readily available easy-to-use interactive tool for preparing nutrition information panels, to make it easier to meet the labelling requirements of the Food Standards Code. This year, on average, there were 15,000 hits on the NPC landing page each month, by approximately 9,800 unique users. In 2018–19 we started work on redeveloping the calculator to enhance the stability of the platform and provide improved functionality and overall user experience. This work is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. Future work will involve updating the nutrient data which supports the calculator.
Australian Food Composition Database
In January 2019 FSANZ launched its new Australian Food Composition Database. The database (previously called NUTTAB) included an improved web interface and enhanced searc to help users find what they’re looking for.
Other changes include introducing custom serve sizes to help users easily calculate the nutrient content based on what they eat (any gram or millilitre amount). Common serve sizes are also provided, such as a 375 mL can or 600 mL bottle, in addition to 100 mL.
New data has been included for highly consumed foods such as milk and bread; and new foods added such as rocket, quinoa, oat and rice milk, gluten free flour and pasta, and green tea. Identifying foods was also improved by assigning each food a unique code (the Public Food Key) which replaces the previously used Food ID. The Key will be consistent across all of our food composition databases.