Food composition databases are used for a variety of purposes including standards development, nutrition labelling, research on diet and disease, education and to help consumers make better informed food choices.
FSANZ, together with some other groups, monitors nutrients in the Australian food supply to inform standards development and compile nutrient databases.
We also monitor the food supply to ensure it is safe. Read more about monitoring the safety of the food supply.
In New Zealand, Food Composition activities are undertaken by The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited and the Ministry of Health (New Zealand).
AUSNUT (AUStralian Food and NUTrient Database)
AUSNUT (AUStralian Food and NUTrient Database) is our series of survey databases which enable food, dietary supplement and nutrient intake estimates for national nutrition surveys. Foods reported in an AUSNUT database are based on those consumed by survey participants. All foods report the same set of nutrients which is determined by the survey design.
The most recent edition, AUSNUT 2011-13, was developed to support the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines database was developed to compare the food consumption reported in the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey with the recommendations contained in the Guidelines.
For more details see AUSNUT.
Australian Food Composition Database
The Australian Food Composition Database (formerly NUTTAB) is Australias reference nutrient database. It includes primarily analysed data for basic foods such as flour and milk, through to mixed dishes such as pizza and cake. Each food has a complete dataset for 54 core nutrients, with additional nutrients reported per food based on the data available.
Nutrition Panel Calculator (NPC)
The Nutrition Panel Calculator (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 the Australian Food Composition Database 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 a complete set of data for the seven nutrients which are mandatory for nutrition information panels.
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
- managing a web-based labelling tool (NPC)
- 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.
We commission external peer reviews of our scientific processes and other work areas to ensure our scientific output aligns with international best practice and continues to meet the objectives outlined in the FSANZ Act.
Generating nutrient data at FSANZ
The food supply in Australia is constantly changing and nutrient data for some foods can become outdated due to changes in product formulation, production practices or advances in analytical methods. Because of this, we generate and collate new analytical nutrient data to ensure data is up-to-date and nutrient publications continue to be relevant.
Analytical data commissioned by us
We publish short reports for each of our analytical programs. These data will also be incorporated into future releases of our published databases.
Data provided by food companies and organisations
Sometimes Australian food companies and organisations provide FSANZ with analysed nutrient data for their products. This data may be published as short reports in addition to being incorporated into future releases of our published databases following validation.
If you require information on the nutrients in a specific product, you should check the product's nutrition information panel or contact the manufacturer.
Submitting data to us
We welcome nutrient composition data from external organisations such as universities, food and health bodies and the food industry at any time. To help potential data providers, we have produced a guide which provides information on how to provide data, what it will be used for and designing nutrient analysis programs for submitting nutrient data to us.