An integrated database management system for Taiwanese food composition and related dietary assessment databases: The NUFOOD System

Li Ching Lyu*, Jin Yuan Ho, Fang Hsin Chang, I. Ling Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Managing complex food composition data from various sources for dietary assessment studies is a challenge in developing countries. We used Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 to develop a graphic user interface (GUI) with linkages to Microsoft Access 97 databases to manage three main inter-reactive databases including an ingredient database, a recipe database, and a dietary supplement database. This system consists of automatic quality control procedures for (1) nutrient range, (2) date for updates, and (3) missing values and completion rate tracking for each nutrient and reference source. Food items in the ingredient database need to have complete nutrient profiles yet remain a single entry with limited numbers in order to be manageable. There is little published information on the nutrient contents of local pickled vegetables, cured meats, and plant extracts. The recipe database determines the primary and secondary levels for mixed dishes and multiple food-grouping systems. Moreover, 13 cooking methods for recipe development were summarized to calibrate nutrient loss during working, because most ingredients only have nutrient levels for uncooked quality. Processed foods and household recipes present the most-difficult tasks for building up the database. Since dietary supplement data such as there on most Chinese traditional herbs are not available, future collection of dietary components including flavonoids and carotenoids are important for nutritional epidemiological studies. Information technology and rapidly developing PC software applications provide an opportunity for developing useful management tools for food composition and related databases. In addition, future cooperation with food scientists and food companies is essential for long-term development of food composition research and applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-276
Number of pages9
JournalNutritional Sciences Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Database management system
  • Dietary supplement
  • Food ingredient
  • Recipe
  • Taiwanese food and nutrient composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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