Production and Use of Food Composition Data in Nutrition
1st-6th December 2019, Wageningen (NL)

This year’s International Postgraduate course was organised by the Division of Human Nutrition (Wageningen University, NL), in collaboration with Graduate School, VLAG, and 25 delegates from 20 countries participated. Course facilitators included Anders Møller and Jayne Ireland (Danish Food Informatics, DK), Hettie Schönfeldt (University of Pretoria, ZA), Susanne Westenbrink (RIVM, NL) and Paul Finglas and Mark Roe (EuroFIR AISBL, BE) as well as Paul Hulshof, Jeanne de Vries and Edith Feskens (Wageningen University, NL).

This course is held every two years and aims to increase understanding of the importance of standardisation of food composition data production, documentation and compilation, and contribute to capacity building. Standards developed by EuroFIR are central to achieving these goals, although the Wageningen food composition training courses pre-dates EuroFIR.

It started as a three-week training course in 1992, as part of harmonisation of food composition data in Europe, and the need for training was accelerated as a result of the International Conference on Nutrition (Rome, December 1992). To meet the goals of this conference, namely develop strategies to overcome malnutrition and diet-related diseases, it was essential to develop a programme for production and dissemination of food composition data in developing countries.

Since 2017, a shorter, one-week, training course has been offered, covering aspects key to producing high quality food composition databases, including sampling to laboratory analysis, food classification and description, recipe calculation, data compilation and management, and applications of food composition data.