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Monitoring nutrients in our food supply

(January 2019)

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).

View the New Zealand Food Composition Database.

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. 

Read the peer review of our food composition program

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.

Reference database

The Australian Food Composition Database (formerly NUTTAB) is Australia’s 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.

Survey databases

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.

Labelling

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.

More information

For more information about food and nutrient composition, please contact us.

Monitoring of folic acid fortification

Monitoring of iodine fortification

Monitoring of trans fatty acids

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