South African Food Data System

1857 food items


SAFOODS is not an accredited analysis laboratory and does not perform nutritional analysis.

It is essential that the correct sampling procedures and analytical methods are used for the generation of food composition data of high quality.

  1. Sampling and transport of samples
    Appropriate sampling protocols and therefore sampling of the food(s) in question is an integral part of food analysis.The most fundamental steps to follow are to ensure that the analytical sample is a representative portion of the whole food for analysis of the bigger batch of the food(s) and that no or minimal changes occur in the composition of the food(s) during collection, transport, storage and sample preparation. It is also important to transport food samples in appropriate containers to prevent nutrient losses. Where applicable and in the case of unstable nutrients, analysis should always be performed within the shortest possible time from collection to actual analysis. Sampling procedures for different forms of the food, e.g. raw, fresh, unprocessed or processed food may require different collection procedures. More information on important guidelines for the sampling of food is available. Read more.
  2. Choice of correct methods of analysis for nutrients
    Food matrices differ and a specific method for the analysis of a certain nutrient is not necessarily applicable for all food matrices. The methods used for the analysis of food(s) for nutrient content should be appropriate for the specific food matrix. This is a crucial factor to consider ensuring that accurate and reliable results are generated.
    To ensure that nutrient data of high quality are generated, laboratories are encouraged to meet the following requirements:
    1. Laboratories should preferably be an accredited testing laboratory under the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS). For food labelling purposes the laboratory has to be SANAS accredited.
    2. Methods of analysis should be appropriate and acceptable and preferably also SANAS accredited and should indicate nutrient ranges and uncertainties.
    3. Laboratories should preferably participate in independent proficiency schemes.
    4. Laboratories that are not SANAS accredited, e.g. research laboratories also performing food (nutrient) analysis are encouraged to validate their methods to ensure that these data could be considered for inclusion in the nutrient database in SAFOODS.

The quality of food sampling and sample processing, correct analytical methods and procedures, competence of the technical laboratory staff, and the accurate recording and reporting of results are all of crucial importance for the generation of high quality food composition data for labelling purposes and for inclusion in SAFOODS.

For more information on where to find laboratories, visit the SANAS website