Monitoring nutrients in our food supply
FSANZ, together with some other groups, monitors nutrients in the Australian food supply and uses the information gathered for standards development work and in nutrient databases. These databases include NUTTAB, AUSNUT and the Nutrition Panel Calculator (NPC), which are also used by others for nutrition labelling, research on diet and disease, education and to help consumers make better informed food choices.
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 food composition tables and 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 Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey component of the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey
FSANZ’s food composition program has been peer reviewed to ensure it meets international best practice.
In New Zealand, national food composition tables are compiled by the National Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd.
NUTTAB (NUTrient TABles for use in Australia) is Australia’s reference nutrient database. It contains a wide range of foods and nutrients. The nutrients reported in NUTTAB will vary between foods, according to the data we currently have available.
AUSNUT (AUStralian Food and NUTrient Database) is our series of survey specific nutrient databases that support national nutrition surveys.
The NPC is a web-based tool to help businesses prepare nutrition information panels for food labelling purposes. The NPC draws on a subset of NUTTAB and AUSNUT data.
Below is a summary of the differences between NUTTAB, AUSNUT and the NPC.
National Nutrition Survey database
Labelling database and calculation tool
Foods and nutrients vary according to data available
Foods and nutrients vary according to survey requirements and reflect foods as consumed
Foods chosen are likely to be used as ingredients in prepared foods, nutrients are those mandatory for nutrition information panels
Primarily analysed data
Derivation of data varies
Primarily analysed data
Incomplete nutrient dataset for each food
Complete nutrient dataset for each food
Complete nutrient dataset of 7 mandatory nutrients for each food
How our data are used in FSANZ
Food composition data are used by FSANZ to:
- undertake dietary intake assessments (in association with consumption data) which feed into our risk assessment processes
- assist with fortification monitoring
- help with food standards development work and monitor post implementation of standards.
For more information about food and nutrient composition, please contact email@example.com.