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Looking for food database

Posted on 2004-10-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I'm trying to find a 'real-world' food database (FM would be great, but anything FM can read will work) that includes category (dairy, fruits, etc.) along with the food name and nutrients (protein, carbs, fats, sodium, magnesium, etc.) The USDA has a virtually useless database unless some kind soul has sorted the data by category and removed thousands of useless entries.

Any suggestions? Help!

Jon
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Question by:jonbenson77
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9 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:armoghan
ID: 12234182
these links may help
http://www.studica.com/products/product_detail.cfm?productid=3702

better would be to design your own db and migrate the required data from USDA database to yours
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Author Comment

by:jonbenson77
ID: 12234348
That page must be down or something...can't pull it up.

The database is built. What I need is content for the db. The required data from USDA does not sort food by category, so the only way to migrate it would be to manually sort through 6500 foods and label them "vegetable", "meat", etc.

Jon
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:billmercer
ID: 12283870
The USDA database does categorize entries into food groups.
http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/SR17/dnload/sr17dnld.html 

Download the SR17 text data files, not the application program. If you look at the food descriptions table, you'll find that each food has a unique ID number and a group number. The group number identifies what category of food you're talking about, e.g. 1300 is beef, 0900 is fruit, etc. There are about 25 different categories.

If you think the USDA data has too many categories, you can easily generalize it by adding your own fields and setting all the beef, pork, and poultry entries to "meat", etc, and deleting entries you don't care about, such as baby foods or spices maybe.

If the USDA tables are not good enough, then you'll probably have to look at one of the vendors who provide nutritional data commercially, such as...  
http://www.esha.com 

If you're looking for something free, you'll probably not have much luck. All the free software pretty much uses the USDA data.

If this database is only for your own personal use, you could join one of the online nutritional/diet web sites that provide such data in an HTML table, and then import that into Filemaker.

If you plan to distribute it, that would probably not be permitted by such a service however. And you'll need to be very clear when distributing it that your data could contain errors and is not for medical use. Otherwise you could be subject to significant liability. That's another reason the USDA data is popular, it's the government's fault if something's wrong with it :)

 
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Author Comment

by:jonbenson77
ID: 12284363
Bill;

Thank you 'very' much for the detailed post. I'll look into the NAL link. I did in fact DL the one without the categories. Many thanks!

Jon
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:billmercer
ID: 12389100
Were you able to find the SR17 data with the categories? It's been a while and we have not heard back from you.
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Author Comment

by:jonbenson77
ID: 12389349
Hi Bill;

As of a few days ago, actually. I ended up farming the work out to another guy, as he's good a putting the pieces together. What's strange is that each field needed to be filtered by a calc to get the 'right' values. Long story, but the USDA didn't make it easy.

Thanks again Bill.

Jon
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:billmercer
ID: 12515880
Hmm, this question has been sitting open for a while...
0
 

Author Comment

by:jonbenson77
ID: 12516374
Bill;

I thought the post above would close it out. Forgive me if I was supposed to do something. I'm new to this. What's the proceedure?

Thanks again.

Jon
0
 
LVL 19

Accepted Solution

by:
billmercer earned 500 total points
ID: 12547454
When looking at the list of responses, there's an "accept" button to the right of each response. Find the answer you want to accept, and click its Accept button.
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