Food composition tables or databases (FCDBs) are resources providing detailed information on the nutritional composition of foods, usually from a particular country. Originally, these resources existed only in printed form, with the oldest tables dating back to the early 1800s. Nowadays, a trend towards electronically available FCDBs can be observed. They can hold large amounts of data and allow easy access to and manipulation of data. More recently, many European FCDBs have become available online on the Internet, a move influenced by EuroFIR within Europe.
FCDBs usually contain information on a wide range of components, including:
Macronutrients (e.g. protein, carbohydrate, fat) and their components (e.g. sugars, starch, fatty acids)
Minerals (e.g. calcium, iron, sodium)
In addition, some FCDBs have values for individual amino acids and/or vitamin fractions (e.g. individual carotenoids, such as lycopene and lutein). Some specialised databases are also available; for example, bioactive compounds are included in the EuroFIR eBASIS database, in the US isoflavone database and in the French Phenol-Explorer database.