On September 16th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched theBranded Food Products Database, a free online resource for families, the food industry and researchers that contains nutrition details on more than 80,000 name brand prepared and packaged foods that are available at restaurants and grocery stores.

"There is so much data from the public and private sectors that can improve the health and quality of life for millions of people, if it can be made more readily available," said Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary. "The partnership that produced the database is more proof that governments, nonprofits, businesses and researchers are capable fostering scientific innovation by making life-changing data open and available to parents, healthcare professionals, scientists, businesses and everyone interested. I look forward to being surprised by innovations we have not even thought of yet as a result of so much information becoming so reliable and accessible."

To develop the database and interface for private food companies to add and update data, the USDA Agriculture Research Service partnered with 1WorldSync, GS1 US, International Life Sciences Institute North America and Label Insight.

The Branded Food Products Database expands on the USDA National Nutrient Database, which was a source of data for researchers, government, and the food industry and contained basic information on 8,800 branded foods.

The database is expected, as information is added, to include up to 500,000 products with more details including “serving size, servings per package and nutrients shown on the Nutrition Facts Panel or the Expanded Nutrition Facts Panel, plus weights and measures, ingredient list and sub-list, and a date stamp associated with current formulation of the product.”

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 9/21/2016