FAQs

What is the Composition of Foods Integrated Dataset (CoFID)?

It is a dataset that contains nutrient data for around 3,200 foods and recipe dishes, comprising of 185 individual nutrients. CoFID can be downloaded for free in MS Excel or the dataset can be searched in this website.

 

Where can I buy the book, download the dataset or find the user guide?

You can buy McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods edition 7 summary book. The summary book only contains a subset of the data in CoFID, however you can download the full dataset in Excel format and find the user guide.

 

How often is the dataset updated?

The dataset is updated on an ad-hoc basis when there is new information available.

 

Which food have been recent analysed?

The most recent surveys have focused on fruit and vegetables, fish, trans fatty acids, eggs and biscuits, buns, cakes and pastries.

 

Where can I find extra information relating to the sub-samples used in the dataset?

Some of the nutrient values are 20-30 years old, and as such, the sampling documentation has been archived. For more recent surveys, links to the information can be found in report form online.

 

Where are the samples prepared and analysed?

For most of the recent analytical surveys, purchasing, sampling and storage of the samples has been organised and co-ordinated by the Quadram Institute (UK) whilst accredited laboratories, specifically Eurofins and LGC, carried out the analysis.

 

Why are only seven nutrients showing for each food?

The first seven nutrients show on the search results page, these include energy, fat, water, carbohydrate, sugar and protein. To view all nutrients in a food, click on the food name.

 

How do I sort the foods by a specific nutrient, such as vitamin C?

Only the first seven nutrients can be sorted from high to low. Downloading the Excel CoFID file will allow you to sort any nutrient from low to high and vice versa.

 

What is the comments field for?

In general, this field will be blank and will signify that the values come from the main data source. If a value is borrowed or calculated, then further information will be provided there.

 

Why does the comments field say, ‘under consideration’?

We are in the process of updating these fields so to avoid any misinterpretation, any field that has not been updated yet contains this phrase.

 

What does N and Tr mean in the dataset?

‘N’ represents that a nutrient is present in significant quantities but there is no reliable information on the amount. ‘Tr’ represents that trace amounts of the nutrient is present.

 

 I have found an error in the dataset or have a question. Who should I contact?

All questions and feedback including foods which you feel are lacking or contain errors, should be sent to fdnc@quadram.ac.uk.

 

What are the rules for licencing the use of UK Food Composition Data?

The Composition of Foods Integrated Dataset files are available from the UK government free of charge in Excel format, however the data are subject to use under the Open Government Licence for Public Sector Information. The information can be freely used but the source of the information must be acknowledged.

 

Where can I find data from other countries?

Many countries have their own food composition dataset. Here are some examples which are available online: American dataset (USDA), French dataset (Ciqual), Danish dataset (DTU), Swedish dataset. Another option is to register with FoodEXplorer as it allows users to search food composition datasets from 30 different countries.