Growing Futures

Nutrient information for common foods

Nutrient information for common foods

Access to food composition data helps food companies meet labelling standards in both domestic and export markets

Being able to label foods accurately is vital for food manufacturers. Countries may have different foods that are commonly consumed, and being able to reflect unique national ingredients on packaging is vital in the development of new foods for both domestic consumption and export.

The New Zealand Food Composition Database provides access to nutrient information for more than 2600 foods commonly eaten in New Zealand. The database contains information on 76 core nutrients, including carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamin and fibre concentrations, and up to 266 other nutrients, verified by independent laboratories.

Having a national food composition database both allows companies to request the inclusion of foods specific to New Zealand and also allows food manufacturers using New Zealand ingredients to calculate the nutrient value of their products. Food and nutrient data can also be used by health professionals in dietary assessments, and for the development of nutrition research, policies and guidelines.

Keeping up to date with product changes

Each year, around 60 to 100 new foods - a combination of new products and updates to products already listed - are added to the database. Recently, Beef & Lamb New Zealand submitted new analyses for 186 cuts of beef and lamb, to align with changes in agricultural practices that may have changed meat nutritional composition. Analyses have also been submitted for the newly released ZespriĀ® SunGold and ZespriĀ® SweetGreen Kiwifruits.

Developed as an online tool in 2011, more than 2000 people have registered for access to the Food Composition Database from organisations in 24 countries. The database is kept up to date to align with changes in food labelling standards, particularly around health claims made on packaging, introduced by Food Standards Australia New Zealand in 2013.

The New Zealand Food Composition Database is jointly owned by Plant & Food Research and the Ministry of Health.

Created: September 2013

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