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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

How to submit data to USDA Nutrient Databases
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Submitting Data for USDA Food Composition Databases

We now have two databases which include data on brand name products:

1.  USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard reference

The primary product of the Nutrient Data Laboratory is the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR), a scientific, non-regulatory database of foods consumed in the U.S. Yearly updates are made to this database to ensure that product information is current and data are of the highest possible quality. A subset of SR is used to support the What We Eat in America component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Data from the USDA National Nutrient Database are used for many research, policy, education, treatment, and nutrition monitoring programs. SR includes food composition data for nearly 9,000 foods -- of these, approximately 2,000 are brand name items. 

We at NDL encourage the submission of food composition data by all facets of the food industry, academia, and other government agencies. Your help in maintaining the accuracy and currency of the National Nutrient Database is appreciated.  No fees are charged for submitting data or using this database. SR is released annually on our Web site at www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata. The NDL Web site has averaged over 200,000 unique user visits per month on it's online search program (ndb.nal.usda.gov). Using the search program, schools, the media and consumers may readily view your data and companies are encouraged to review their food items regularly. Brand name data obtained from sources other than the manufacturer -- including USDA contracts, other federal agencies, and publications -- may be included in SR. Mention of trade names, commercial products, or companies in our NDBS products, including SR, is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the USDA over others not mentioned.

NDL accepts calculated or analytical, unrounded and unadjusted nutrient data generated in response to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA). Products must be adequately described and nutrient data should be given for the edible portion of the food. We appreciate submission of data for as many nutrients as possible. At a minimum, we need data for all proximates (carbohydrate, protein, fat, moisture and ash). If one proximate is missing, NDL will calculate the remaining one by difference. While you may not have data for all of the many components released in SR, NDL welcomes data on all nutrients and components that you may have. You may view a list of the 25 food groups included in SR.  A full list of the 150 food components represented in SR28 is given in Table 1 of the SR database documentation.  Once we have processed your data through our databank system we will send a report for review prior to release.

We request unrounded, unadjusted, analytical or calculated data on a 100 gram basis. For analytical data, we appreciate individual values for each sample or the mean values, along with the number of samples and the standard deviation.  We also request any serving size information you may have.  If you have label data, we suggest you submit your data to the USDA Branded Food Products Database described below.

Electronic copy - NDL encourages data in spreadsheet and other file formats. and welcomes copies of analytical laboratory and company database reports.  Please Contact the Nutrient Data Laboratory (ndlinfo@ars.usda.gov) before submitting data. Please indicate what data you would like to submit and request that your inquiry be forwarded to the appropriate food specialist.

2.  USDA Branded Food Products Database

The USDA Branded Food Products Database was launched at the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition(GODAN) 2016 Summit on September 16, 2016 (Please see USDA's Press Release for more information).  Manufacturers and retailers have two options for data submission:

  1. Brands that are leveraging the GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) can synchronize product data directly.  The USDA Implementation Guide and the Trading Partner Form are available on this site.
  2. Additionally, Label Insight allows brands to submit their product data via a simple "drag and drop" portal on www.labelinsight.com/USDA-database.

 

 


Last Modified: 11/3/2016
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