|USDA Branded Food Products Database|
The USDA Branded Food Products Database is the result of a Public-Private Partnership, whose goal is to enhance public health and the sharing of open data by complementing the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR) with nutrient composition of branded foods and private label data provided by the food industry. The submission of data to the USDA Branded Food Products Database is voluntary; however, if a manufacturer or retailer participates, a set of mandatory attributes agreed upon by the Partners must be submitted. These data are publicly available and updated continuously. Users include, but are not limited to, federal agencies, the research community, international databases, proprietary databases and end users, the food industry, the media, and consumers interested in the foods they eat. In addition, these data can be used to support the development of consumer facing applications (i.e., “Apps”). Members of the Public-Private Partnership include:
Data from Label Insight and ILSI NA partner companies through GS1 US and 1Worldsync have been received and reformatted through a cooperative agreement with the University of Maryland’s Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; Quality control checks take place at Label Insight and at 1WorldSync and a final quality control check is performed by the USDA’s Nutrient Data Laboratory. Manufacturers and retailers are alerted if there are questions with the data and have an opportunity to resolve the issues. The USDA Branded Food Products Database is hosted by USDA’s National Agricultural Library, who also enhanced the search program to improve the user interface. The USDA Branded Food Products Database is accessed through the same search program as the USDA National Nutrient Database for SR, but is clearly identified as a distinctive but connected Database. This search program allows immediate access to these data and the format is standardized to that of SR.
USDA Branded Food Products Database Data Availability:
Nutrient data from the Nutrition Facts Panel on each food package, as received from the manufacturer or retailer, have been included on a serving size basis (RACC) and also converted to 100-gram basis, if not directly received from the manufacturer or retailer. This is to align with SR, which also lists both. However, label rounding, as permitted in Nutrition Labeling Education Act (NLEA) regulations, especially from food products with small serving sizes, may introduce additional variability in the 100 g values. Therefore, while these data can be a useful tool for researchers and consumers, values may be different from those obtained through analytical measurements.
The USDA Branded Food Products Database includes the list of ingredients for each product, a new feature as compared to SR. We have begun discussions with the partners on our plans to make a data file of the USDA Branded Food Products Database on our web site available for downloading. Before doing so, we also need to better automate the procedures for food companies to submit their data. We also need to resolve some issues that we discovered while assembling the data for its release on September 16, 2016. Once we have completed discussions with the partners, we anticipate this database will be available later this year or early next.