The South African Food Data System (SAFOODS) operates within the Biostatistics Unit of the South African Medical Research Council with the main aim of providing information on the energy and nutrition composition of foods consumed in South Africa. The information is aimed at scientists, healthcare professionals and others with an interest in food composition data.

Information on food composition captured in SAFOODS comes from different sources, e.g. chemically analysed food, other international food composition databases, scientific articles, and recipe calculations. The origin (reference sources) of the nutrient information is captured in SAFOODS and available from the food composition database compilers.

Currently SAFOODS contains nutrient information on 1 472 food items. A shortened version of the South African Food Composition Database is available online.

Different products, e.g. printed tables and software programs containing information from SAFOODS are produced.

To promote and strengthen food composition activities in South Africa a national body, the South African Food Data Advisory Group (SAFDAG) was formed in 2008.

A food composition database can never be complete and requires constant revision. Improving and increasing the information captured in SAFOODS are the main objectives of compilers of the database.

SAFOODS explained (pdf format, 300 kb)

Focus area leader
Dr Averalda van Graan


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