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Where does the food data come from?

19 February 2020

Ever wondered where we source the food composition data available in FoodWorks?

FoodWorks comes with thousands of foods and their nutrient data, sourced from a variety of food composition tables.

In FoodWorks the food composition tables are organised as data sources. Major FoodWorks data sources include AusFoods, AusBrands, FOODfiles (NZ) and the USDA National Nutrient Database. There are also more specialised and historical data sources available.

AusFoods is our proprietary data source of general foods. It derives its nutrient data from AUSNUT 2011-13 (with various extensions) and the new Australian Food Composition Database (AFCD). AusBrands is our data source of commercial products, sourced from the nutrition information panels of food products currently sold in Australia, with mappings to AusFoods to provide an extended nutrient set.

What data sources am I selecting from?

In FoodWorks, when you select a food or ingredient to enter into a food record, meal plan or recipe, it comes from one of these data sources (unless, of course, it is a food you have created yourself).

You can see the data sources you are selecting foods/ingredients from here:

On the File menu, click Database Properties, then click Food Selections:

In Australia, as shown above, AusBrands and AusFoods are selected by default.

Getting information about a data source

If you want information about any data source in the list, e.g. AusBrands 2019, click on the name of the data source, and information is displayed on the right, as shown below:

Notes about the default data sources

  • Though you can change the data sources you are selecting from in the Database Properties dialog, it is generally not recommended. In Australia, AusFoods and AusBrands are optimised for use in FoodWorks: it is unusual to change from these defaults, except for special use cases. One of the complications is that different data sources often have different sets of reported nutrients, which means you get missing nutrient values for some foods.
  • If you are in New Zealand, the default data source is FOODfiles.
  • AusFoods draws on the new Australian Food Composition Database (AFCD) and AUSNUT 2011 – 13 from FSANZ. The Australian Food Composition Database and AUSNUT 2013 are also provided as discrete data sources, but in most cases there is no need to select them.
  • For the commercial products available in our AusBrands data source, you can control the nutrient data displayed. By default, for an AusBrand food you will see nutrient data from its NIP and, to give the full array of nutrient analyses, extra nutrients are imputed from AusFoods. To see or change these options, on the File menu, click Database Properties then Advanced.

Where is a particular food from?

When you are selecting foods to enter into the Foods or Ingredients tab of a food record or recipe, you can see the data source it comes from at the bottom of the drop-down selection list:

In the above case, the highlighted bread roll is from AusFoods.

You can also click on a food/ingredient that you’ve already entered in the grid, and its data source is shown at the bottom of the grid:

In the above case, the ‘Kraft Vegemite’ is from AusBrands. The mapping to the AusFoods food is also shown here.

Searching the data sources

If you want to search for foods in any of the data sources available in FoodWorks, you can use the powerful Query function.

On the FoodWorks toolbar, click the Query button.

You can search any data source you choose by ticking it on the left.

For information on using the Query function, see Chapter 10, Exploring the reference foods of the Introductory Guide.

More information

Detailed information on the major data sources supplied with FoodWorks 10.

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