FoodData Central


U.S. Department of Agriculture - Ag Data Commons (USDA-NAL)


Harnly and James


Several USDA food composition databases, including the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies (FNDDS), Standard Reference (SR) Legacy, and the USDA Branded Food Products Database, have transitioned to FoodData Central, a new and harmonized USDA food and nutrient data system. FoodData Central also includes expanded nutrient content information as well as links to diverse data sources that offer related agricultural, environmental, food, health, dietary supplement, and other information. The new system is designed to strengthen the capacity for rigorous research and policy applications through its search capabilities, downloadable datasets, and detailed documentation. Application developers can incorporate the information into their applications and web sites through the application programming interface (API) REST access.

The constantly changing and expanding food supply is a challenge to those who are interested in using food and nutrient data. Including diverse types of data in one data system gives researchers, policymakers, and other audiences a key resource for addressing vital nutrition and health issues.

FoodData Central:

  • Includes five distinct types of data containing information on food and nutrient profiles, each with a unique purpose: Foundation Foods; Experimental Foods; Standard Reference; Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies; USDA Global Branded Food Products Database.
  • Provides a broad snapshot in time of the nutrients and other components found in a wide variety of foods and food products.
  • Presents data that come from a variety of sources and are updated as new information becomes available.
  • Includes values that are derived through a variety of analytic and computational approaches, using state-of-the-art methodologies and transparent presentation.

FoodData Central is managed by the Agricultural Research Service and hosted by the National Agricultural Library.


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