Free Searchable Database on Food Content
By Rosalie Marion
Bliss July 28, 2005
What nutrients were in the smoothie you just ate? Was it a two-cup
serving made with fruit? Or was it a 20-fluid-ounce smoothie made with fruit
and yogurt? The answers can be found on the Internet, where free access is now
available to nutrient information on thousands of foods typically eaten in the
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists today launched a searchable
database on the World Wide Web where users can view a 60-nutrient profile for
each of more than 13,000 foods. The new resource is called "What's in the Foods
You EatSearch Tool."
search tool serves up a
60-nutrient profile for each of more than 13,000 foods. Above is a sample of
the search tool's outputin this instance, for a yogurt smoothie.
By providing information on the nutrient values in typically consumed
foods, the new online search tool will help consumers make informed decisions
about food choices.
The tool was produced by nutritionists with the ARS
Surveys Research Group, based at Beltsville, Md., and headed by supervisory
Moshfegh. ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.
The data are provided in commonly consumed portion sizes and weights,
and easy-to-use help screens are readily available. To access the database on
the World Wide Web, go to:
A user starts by typing descriptive words into the online search box.
After the user hits "Enter" or "Search," all food names containing the key
words will be displayed. The user can then select one of the displayed food
names and request information on up to three different portion amounts for it.
The computer search program generates a customized table showing 60
different nutrient values for each portion amount chosen. The search result can
then be printed.
The versatile database expands the use of one of the laboratory's key
research products, the USDA Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS 1.0),
which is a technical database for nutrition researchers.