FSANZ makes food composition data available for the benefit of the public and on the understanding that you will exercise your own skill, care and judgment with respect to its use and you will carefully evaluate the accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance of the material for your purposes.
The food composition data is made available only for the purposes of providing nutrient data and ancillary material to users. FSANZ has taken great care to ensure the material provided in the food composition database is as correct and accurate as possible at the time of publication. However, FSANZ makes no warranty that the material contained in the food composition database will be free from error, or if used will ensure compliance with the relevant requirements of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. FSANZ recommends that users viewing this publication for dietary purposes consult a heath care practitioner for a comprehensive dietary assessment.
By using the material in the food composition database, you acknowledge that in no event shall FSANZ be liable for any incidental or consequential damages resulting from use of the data.
FSANZ also advises you that any reference to a brand name product contained in the food composition database is not to be taken as an authoritative statement of the composition of that product, due to changes in formulation that may have occurred since the FSANZ data was generated. It is also not to be taken as a statement that a particular product complies, or does not comply, with any labelling declarations that might have been made for it or with any regulatory requirements. If you require current data on a specific branded product you should contact the manufacturer of that product.
Limitations of food composition data
There are limitations associated with food composition databases. Nutrient data published in the food composition database may represent an average of the nutrient content of a particular sample of foods and ingredients, determined at a particular time. The nutrient composition of foods and ingredients can vary substantially between batches and brands because of a number of factors, including changes in season, changes in formulation, processing practices and ingredient source.
While most of the data contained in the food composition database are generated from analysed values, some of the data are borrowed from overseas food composition tables; supplied by the food industry; taken from food labels; imputed from similar foods; or calculated using a recipe approach.
While FSANZ has made considerable effort to ensure the quality of data in the food composition databases, FSANZ makes no warranty that the information contained in the databases will be free from error, or if used will ensure compliance with the relevant requirements of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
© Commonwealth of Australia and Food Standards Australia New Zealand, 2022
ISBN number: 978-0-642-34572-1
What nutrients are reported?
The Australian Food Composition Database reports up to 256 nutrients and food components per food. The range of nutrients presented for each food varies depending on the analytical data available. However, there is a core set of 54 nutrients for which all foods have data. These nutrients align with those reported in AUSNUT 2011-13 (a set of files that enables food, dietary supplement and nutrient intake estimates to be made from the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey), plus vitamin D.
It's important to note that if a food does not have a value for a particular nutrient that does not mean that the nutrient is not present in the food. It means that analytical data for that nutrient in the food is not currently available to us.
Information relating to each nutrient including equations published in the Australian Food Composition Database can be found with the online searchable database as part of the 'Browse nutrient list' function and in the Nutrient details file.
How is the data reported?
The nutrient data is available as both an online searchable database and as an Excel file.
In the online searchable database, nutrient values are reported per 100 g edible portion for solid foods and per 100 mL edible portion for beverages and other liquid foods such as salad dressings. For the first time, the nutrients for some foods are also reported by common serve size in addition to per 100 g/mL values to reflect the nutrient content of what a user may have eaten. For example, one serve of a soft drink may be a 375 mL can.
In the Excel file, nutrient data are reported in two ways:
TAB 1 Per 100 g all foods and all beverages are reported per 100 g edible portion
TAB 2 Per 100 mL beverages and other liquid foods only, reported per 100 mL edible portion.
How are the nutrients analysed by the laboratory?
In general, the analytical techniques used are widely-accepted methods conducted by experienced laboratories with National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation. However, because nutrient data reported in the food composition databases have been generated over approximately 40 years, the techniques used for nutrient analysis may have changed over this time. See details of nutrients, including analytical methods or equations for equated components by downloading the nutrients details file. Equated components are values for nutrients that we have calculated using specific equations from other analysed components for that food. For example energy content is equated from protein, fat, carbohydrates and other nutrients. Further information on the methods of analysis, including limits of detection and reporting may be available from us on request.
What do we do when analytical results are less than the limit of reporting?
Sometimes when foods are analysed, the result for a particular nutrient may be less than (represented by the symbol <') the limit of reporting (LOR). These are sometimes referred to as trace' values. Taking protein as an example, if a value is reported as <0.2 g/100 g, this means that the analytical method used to analyse protein in this food is able to quantify levels of protein at or above 0.2 g/100 g. In this case, the analytical method was able to detect a small amount of protein, but not enough to determine exactly how much.
For data analysis purposes we need to decide how we will use these <LOR values. In Release 1, <LOR values are reported as zero. In our data management system, we record that a less than LOR' value was reported and note the LOR specified by the laboratory. This allows us to assign different values to these less than LOR' values as the need arises. For example, there may be occasions where assigning all less than LOR' values to half of the LOR or setting them to be equal to the LOR, is more appropriate for our work.