Special Issue "Food Composition and Dedicated Databases: Key Tools for Human Health and Public Nutrition"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutritional Policies and Education for Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alessandra Durazzo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CREA-Research Centre for Food and Nutrition, Via Ardeatina 546, 00178 Rome, Italy
Interests: natural products; bioactive compounds; antioxidants; food quality; nutrition; food composition databases; dietary supplements; herbs; botanicals; natural substances databases; synthesis; bioavailability, metabolic pathways
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Massimo Lucarini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CREA-Research Centre for Food and Nutrition, Via Ardeatina 546, 00178 Rome, Italy
Interests: food quality; bioactive compounds; antioxidants; nutrition; metabolism; foods; biodiversity; sustainability; bioavailability; beverages; meat; biorefinery; vegetable; fish; fibre; fatty acids; milk; cereals; food composition database; natural product
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

To better understand nutrition, food chemistry, and medicine, it is necessary to study bioactive constituents, which requires detailed knowledge and coverage on the composition of compounds of nutritional and nutraceutical character; the need for categorization of substances and for the implementation of specific and dedicated databases has emerged from both analytical data and collected data taken from literature throughout harmonized and standardized approach.

Food Composition Databases (FCDBs) aim to produce, collect, and present data in a standardized format to “speak a common language,” which allows the comparison of data from different national databases to foster exchange and collaboration between countries. At the same time, research is focused on the development of databases and models on metabolites in humans and novel dietary biomarkers.

The development of databases of nutrients, bioactive compounds, and metabolites are key tools for human health and public nutrition and represent resources for a wide range of applications in food, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, epidemiology and medicinal areas.

The initial construction of a dataset of specific nutrients and bioactive compounds or class bioactive compounds and their inclusion in a specified and standardized database will be monitored; in addition, updating and expanding of comprehensive database is welcome. Also, a database dedicated to a peculiar and characteristic category of foods: traditional, certified, and recipe databases are welcome.

The design and construction of food databases requires foremost the exact identification of foods throughout an adequate food nomenclature and a precise description. There is a general consensus on the importance of the nomenclature, description, and classification of foods and food groups. A coherent food description system is essential for comparing and/or exchanging data from different databases, and data of same nature from different organizations and countries. Matching procedures for linking different databases are here encouraged.

Food Composition and other dedicated databases as well as metabolomic databases and biomarkers repositories represent an unique data resource for nutritionists, dietitians, and researchers for several applications, i.e., dietary assessment, exposure studies, food labelling, health claims processes; epidemiological studies and clinical trials.

Applications and utilization of databases from nutrition and medicine-related fields in other contexts are here explored. Current research trends are defined.

Dr. Alessandra Durazzo
Dr. Massimo Lucarini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • food data
  • food groups
  • nutrients
  • natural substances
  • classification
  • categorization
  • food composition database
  • dedicated databases
  • metabolites
  • dietary biomarkers
  • nutrition knowledge
  • human health
  • epidemiology studies
  • applications and benefits
  • health claims
  • food labelling
  • public health
  • health promotion

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Sodium Content of Foods Sold in the Spanish Market. Results from the BADALI Project
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3410; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13103410 - 27 Sep 2021
Viewed by 522
Abstract
High sodium/salt intake is a risk factor for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Excess sodium intake has been associated with high coronary heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. The sodium daily intake is above the recommendations in the world as well as in Spain. [...] Read more.
High sodium/salt intake is a risk factor for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Excess sodium intake has been associated with high coronary heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. The sodium daily intake is above the recommendations in the world as well as in Spain. Reducing salt content in processed foods and ready meals is one of the main strategies for reducing sodium intake. The aim of the present work is to characterise the presence of sodium in foods sold in the Spanish market. We also study a possible shift in sodium content in products over the last few years. For this purpose, 3897 products included in the BADALI food database were analysed, classified into 16 groups (G). We found that 93.3% of all foods displayed the sodium/salt content in the nutrition declaration. Meat—processed and derivatives (G8) had the highest mean and median values for sodium content, followed by snacks (G15) and sauces (G14). Only 12.7% of foods were sodium-free (≤5 mg/100 g or 100 mL), 32.4% had very low sodium (≤40 mg/100 g or 100 mL) and 48.2% were low in sodium (≤120 mg/100 g or 100 mL). On the contrary, 47.2% were high in sodium according to the Pan American Health Organisation Nutrient Profile Model (PAHO-NPM), while there were 31.9% according to the Chile-NPM. The agreement between the two NPMs was considered ‘substantial’ (κ = 0.67). When sodium content was compared over the years, no decrease was observed. This analysis was performed in the entire food population, by food group and in matched products. Therefore, more effort should be made by all parties involved in order to decrease the sodium/salt intake in the population. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Identifying Nutrient Patterns in South African Foods to Support National Nutrition Guidelines and Policies
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3194; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13093194 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Food composition databases (FCDBs) provide the nutritional content of foods and are essential for developing nutrition guidance and effective intervention programs to improve nutrition of a population. In public and nutritional health research studies, FCDBs are used in the estimation of nutrient intake [...] Read more.
Food composition databases (FCDBs) provide the nutritional content of foods and are essential for developing nutrition guidance and effective intervention programs to improve nutrition of a population. In public and nutritional health research studies, FCDBs are used in the estimation of nutrient intake profiles at the population levels. However, such studies investigating nutrient co-occurrence and profile patterns within the African context are very rare. This study aimed to identify nutrient co-occurrence patterns within the South African FCDB (SAFCDB). A principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to 28 nutrients and 971 foods in the South African FCDB to determine compositionally similar food items. A second principal component analysis was applied to the food items for validation. Eight nutrient patterns (NPs) explaining 73.4% of the nutrient variation among foods were identified: (1) high magnesium and manganese; (2) high copper and vitamin B12; (3) high animal protein, niacin, and vitamin B6; (4) high fatty acids and vitamin E; (5) high calcium, phosphorous and sodium; (6) low moisture and high available carbohydrate; (7) high cholesterol and vitamin D; and (8) low zinc and high vitamin C. Similar food patterns (FPs) were identified from a PCA on food items, yielding subgroups such as dark-green, leafy vegetables and, orange-coloured fruit and vegetables. One food pattern was associated with high sodium levels and contained bread, processed meat and seafood, canned vegetables, and sauces. The data-driven nutrient and food patterns found in this study were consistent with and support the South African food-based dietary guidelines and the national salt regulations. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
An Integrated Control Plan in Primary Schools: Results of a Field Investigation on Nutritional and Hygienic Features in the Apulia Region (Southern Italy)
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3006; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13093006 - 28 Aug 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Data concerning overweight and obesity in children and adolescent populations are alarming and represent one of the most serious public health problems of our time. Moreover, it is demonstrated that the school environment may play an important role in health promotion with regard [...] Read more.
Data concerning overweight and obesity in children and adolescent populations are alarming and represent one of the most serious public health problems of our time. Moreover, it is demonstrated that the school environment may play an important role in health promotion with regard to nutritional aspects. This article reports the results of a study conducted in the Apulia region (Southern Italy), aimed at providing an integrated surveillance of the behaviors related to nutrition habits in students and the hygienic and nutritional conditions of the school’s canteens attended by enrolled students. To this purpose, a sample of 501 students attending primary school (third class—children approximately eight years old) replied to a validated questionnaire, and official controls (OC), of both food and nutritional safety, were performed in 22 primary schools. A team of healthcare professionals carried out the study, and the implementation of all the prescribed improvement actions were subsequently verified through follow-up OC. The results of our study show a critical situation in the student sample, with 41.3% of children having a weight excess (overweight or obesity). With regard to the children’s behaviors, only 59.8% of children ate at least one fruit or had a fruit juice for breakfast, and 10.8% did not have breakfast at all. Overall, 40.1% of the total children played outdoors the afternoon before the survey and 45% reported going to school on foot or by bicycle. During the afternoon, 83.5% of the sample watched television or used video games/tablets/mobile phones, while 42.3% played sports. The schools had an internal canteen with on-site preparation of meals in 36.4%, the remaining 63.6% received meals from external food establishments. With regard to OC, for the hygienic–sanitary section, eleven prescriptions were issued, in the great part related to the structure and organization of the canteen. For the nutritional section, nine corrective actions were prescribed, mainly related to official documents and management. The follow-up OC showed that all prescriptions were subsequently addressed. Eating at school was less frequent among obese and overweight students compared with those with normal weight. Although this evidence needs to be further confirmed, it highlights the potential role that the school canteens may play in health promotion and prevention of nutritional disorders. On the other hand, in order to fulfill its health promotion task, the school canteens have to comply with official regulations and guidelines; therefore, OC during the management of the food service at school are needed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comparison of Healthiness, Labelling, and Price between Private and Branded Label Packaged Foods in New Zealand (2015–2019)
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2731; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13082731 - 09 Aug 2021
Viewed by 934
Abstract
We aimed to compare New Zealand private label (PL) and branded label (BL) packaged food products in relation to their current (2019) healthiness (sodium and sugar contents, and estimated Health Star Rating (HSR) score), display of the voluntary HSR nutrition label on the [...] Read more.
We aimed to compare New Zealand private label (PL) and branded label (BL) packaged food products in relation to their current (2019) healthiness (sodium and sugar contents, and estimated Health Star Rating (HSR) score), display of the voluntary HSR nutrition label on the package, and price. Healthiness and HSR display of products were also explored over time (2015 to 2019). Data were obtained from Nutritrack, a brand-specific food composition database. Means and proportions were compared using Student t-tests and Pearson chi-square tests, respectively. Changes over time were assessed using linear regression and chi-square tests for trends (Mantel–Haenzel tests). Altogether, 4266 PL and 19,318 BL products across 21 food categories were included. Overall, PL products in 2019 had a significantly lower mean sodium content and price, a higher proportion of products with estimated HSR ≥ 3.5/5 (48.9% vs. 38.5%) and were more likely to display the HSR on the pack compared with BL products (92.4% vs. 17.2%, respectively). However, for most food categories, no significant difference was found in mean sodium or sugar content between PL and BL products. In the period 2015–2019, there were no consistent changes in estimated HSR score, sodium or sugar contents of PL or BL products, but there was an increase in the proportion of both PL and BL products displaying HSR labels. In most food categories, there were PL options available which were similar in nutritional composition, more likely to be labelled with the HSR, and lower in cost than their branded counterparts. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Assessment of Plant Sterols in the Diet of Adult Polish Population with the Use of a Newly Developed Database
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2722; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13082722 - 07 Aug 2021
Viewed by 664
Abstract
Plant sterols are compounds with multiple biological functions, mainly cholesterol-reducing. There are no comprehensive databases on plant sterols, which makes it difficult to estimate their intake in the Polish population. This work attempted to use international food databases, additionally supplemented by scientific data [...] Read more.
Plant sterols are compounds with multiple biological functions, mainly cholesterol-reducing. There are no comprehensive databases on plant sterols, which makes it difficult to estimate their intake in the Polish population. This work attempted to use international food databases, additionally supplemented by scientific data from the literature, to create a database of plant sterols, which would cover various kinds of foods and dishes consumed in Poland. The aim was to assess the size and sources of dietary plant sterols in the adult population of Poland. The literature search was conducted using PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar to identify possible sources of published food composition data for plant sterols. The study group consisted of 5690 participants of the WOBASZ II survey. We identified 361 dietary sources of plant sterols based on the consumption of foods and dishes reported by participants. Cereals and fats provided 61% of the total plant sterols, and together with vegetables and fruits, this totaled 80%. The median intake of plant sterols in the Polish population was 255.96 mg/day, and for men and women 291.76 and 230.61 mg/day, respectively. Canola oil provided the most plant sterols at 16.92%, followed by white bread at 16.65% and soft margarine at 8.33%. The study found that plant sterol intake in Poland is comparable to other populations, and women’s diets are more dense in plant sterols. Due to the lack of literature sources on plant sterol content in some foods, future studies should expand and complete the databases on plant sterol content in foods. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Food Composition Databases: Does It Matter to Human Health?
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2816; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13082816 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1159
Abstract
Food provides humans with more than just energy and nutrients, addressing both vital needs and pleasure. Food habits are determined by a wide range of factors, from sensorial stimuli to beliefs and, once commanded by local and seasonal availability, are nowadays driven by [...] Read more.
Food provides humans with more than just energy and nutrients, addressing both vital needs and pleasure. Food habits are determined by a wide range of factors, from sensorial stimuli to beliefs and, once commanded by local and seasonal availability, are nowadays driven by marketing campaigns promoting unhealthy and non-sustainable foodstuffs. Top-down and bottom-up changes are transforming food systems, driven by policies on SDGs and by consumer’s concerns about environmental and health impacts. Food quality, in terms of taste, safety, and nutritional value, is determined by its composition, described in food composition databases (FDBs). FDBs are then useful resources to agronomists, food and mechanical engineers, nutritionists, marketers, and others in their efforts to address at maximum human nutrient needs. In this work, we analyse some relevant food composition databases (viz., purpose, type of data, ease of access, regularity of updates), inspecting information on the health and environmental nexus, such as food origin, production mode as well as nutritional quality. The usefulness and limitations of food databases are discussed regarding what concerns sustainable diets, the food ‘matrix effect’, missing compounds, safe processing, and in guiding innovation in foods, as well as in shaping consumers’ perceptions and food choices. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop