Publication Details

Probst, Y. & Mamet, C. (2016). The evolution of food composition databases in Australia: applying data from 1944 to 2007 to current day dietary records. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 51 24-29.


Pre 1980, Australian food composition data were printed tables and based largely on overseas values. Improvements in analytical methods, available technology and changes to the food supply led to a transition to electronic and later online databases. Currently dietary analysis of food intake data can be completed using food composition databases with very few users drawing on printed food composition tables. This study aimed to examine the nutrient output from different food composition data tables from 1944 to 2007 and describe the challenges faced when applying it to a present day dietary intake dataset from 2013. A two-step process was applied to analyse baseline food record data from the feasibility study of an interdisciplinary lifestyle intervention trial using food composition databases from 1944, 1948, 1954, 1968, 1977, 1991, 1999 and 2007. Differences in food data across all time points were determined with 2007 as the comparator database. Data were available for protein, fat, carbohydrate, thiamin, vitamin C, calcium and iron across the eight databases however nutrient data were not compared due to a lack of food matches between the databases. Differences in reported food composition data over time emphasizes the importance of using timely food composition data matched to the time period of the dietary intake data.



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