FoodData Central will be managed by the USDA ARS at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC) and hosted by the National Agricultural Library (NAL). It provides links to relevant agricultural research data from multiple sources, enhances the transparency about the sources of nutrition information, provides data that is based on the latest scientific research, and is representative of the marketplace.
FoodData Central contain five distinct types of food and nutrient composition data, all in one easily accessible place. In addition to three established data types—Standard Reference, Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies, and USDA Global Branded Food Products—the new database features two new types of data grouped under new topics. Foundation Foods provides expanded nutrient information and extensive underlying metadata that will help users understand the variability in the nutrient values of foods. Experimental Foods links to data about foods produced by agricultural researchers that will allow users to see for themselves how factors such as climate, soils and agricultural practices can affect a food's nutritional profile.
The new system is designed to strengthen the capacity for research and policy applications through its search capabilities, downloadable datasets, and detailed documentation. Application developers will be able to incorporate the information into their applications and web sites.