FAO/INFOODS Global Food Composition Database for Fish and Shellfish : Data for policy

The FAO/INFOODS (International Network of Food Data Systems) Global Food Composition Database for Fish and Shellfish is the first edition of a global database uFiSh database (Excelproviding nutrient values for selected fish, crustaceans and molluscs. This product is the result of a long-standing collaboration between the FAO/Nutrition and Food Systems Division and the FAO/Fisheries Department

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Accurate food composition data for seafood are needed not only to estimate its contribution to the nutrient intakes of individuals and populations, but also for the development of food-based dietary guidelines and for labelling purposes. 

(Source: INFOODS).

"Food composition data are the basis for almost everything in nutrition, and should receive more attention in agriculture to render our food supply more nutritious...

Each country has specific data needs as they have different compositions of their foods, even if some people think that foods have similar composition among countries due to globalization...

The FAO/INFOODS Food Composition Study Guide is an excellent example to widely disseminate knowledge on food composition and biodiversity as it is a distance learning tool which is freely available".

Food composition data data can render the design and implementation of programmes and policies more nutrition-sensitive and cost-efficient, and enable the development of meaningful guidelines for improving dietary adequacy and malnutrition through foods, including fish and shellfish, where appropriate.

The free-of-charge FAO/INFOODS e-Learning Course on Food Composition Data was developed to close existing knowledge gaps on food composition of professionals working with those data.

It covers the important aspects of food composition, is based on instructional design, is highly interactive and comprises 14 lessons of approximate 10h duration.

The course is expected to contribute to the improved data quality, usage, generation, publication and appreciation of food composition data.

The launch of the FAO/INFOODS Global Food Composition Database for Fish and Shellfish is the first edition of a global database [uFiSh] providing nutrient values for selected fish, crustaceans and molluscs in raw, cooked, and processed form, covering data on proximates, minerals, vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids. The structure of uFiSh consists of 12 separate datasheets, where sheets 04 to 07 hold the actual nutrient values.

The majority of data are analytical data complemented with data from other published sources. The data compilation process followed standards and guidelines outlined by FAO/INFOODS and includes comprehensive documentation.

The FAO/INFOODS Global Food Composition Database for Fish and Shellfish is ready to:

  • enable countries and researchers to incorporate more of these data in national and regional FCT/FCDB,
  • better calculate the nutrient intakes from seafood,
  • better integrate fish and shellfish into their programmes and policies,
  • provide the much needed information on the nutritional composition of seafood,
  • motivate donors and countries to invest more in the chemical analysis of the nutritional content of fish and shellfish, especially their micronutrient content. 

The FAO/INFOODS Global Food Composition Database for Fish and Shellfish User Guide provides information on the foods, data compilation methodology and component definitions included in uFiSh. 

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Source: FAO/INFOODS Food Composition Databases

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