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This review aims to document the development of the food composition program in Australia with particular focus on the enablers and barriers to its progress. A process of reference harvesting and unstructured telephone interviewing was conducted with experts noted in the identified references. Academics, nutritionists, dietitians and food chemists who also played pivotal roles in its development, through fluctuating funding levels and varied influence from overseas, particularly the US and UK. Australia's food composition tables have not developed in isolation but have continued to evolve in line with international developments in nutrition science and with changes in data publication methods.