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Welcome to the FoodEXplorer



The EuroFIR FoodEXplorer facility is an innovative interface, which can be accessed online and allows its users a simultaneous search of 40 standardized and specialized food composition databases (FCDB). Users have access to a wide range of European data as well as Canada, USA, New Zealand, Japan, African and EMR countries as foods and nutrients through harmonized data description and associated nutrient value information.
The search facility includes options to search the FCDB, based on several food attributes:

  • Original, English or scientific food name / or part of a food name
  • Food groups
  • Langual thesauri facets (food groups and subgroups, food source, cooking method, treatment applied, preservation ,method,  packaging medium, geographical regions)
  • Chemical food components, with value intervals, units, value types, method types, method indicator, reference type and year of publication.
  • FoodEX2 coding thesauri (comprehensive food classification and description system developed by EFSA)

Search results from different datasets can be compared and also downloaded as xls spreadsheets or xml files in FDTP standards (Food Data Transport Package).


How do I start to use the FoodEXplorer ?

The first step is to set up the active countries / datasets for the food search selection criteria. In order to do this select the “Select countries” option from the menu. This option opens the screen with a list of countries / datasets.



Country/dataset selection


How to set up the active countries/datasets



Countries / datasets


For each country/dataset there is a separate check box for selection. If you want to select/unselect all countries click ‘select all’ / ‘unselect all’ checkbox. When the list of active counties is selected, click the save_dataset command button to confirm your dataset selection. This predefined dataset selection will be saved in the system permanently, even after you log out, until you modify it yourself again.


How can I search for the food items in the datasets ?

There are two types of search options in the FoodExplorer. The simple search (search option based on food names / or part of food names, in combination with food group selection) and the advanced search (search option based on food attributes - such as food groups, food source, cooking method, treatment, preservation, packaging, geographical region; FoodEX2 classification and food components – such as chemical components with value, interval, method, method indicator, reference definition).

How to use the simple search?

The simple search option enables you to search the database based on food name / or part of food name, in combination with one food group.
The searched input (food name or part of the food name) have to be entered into the text field. You are able to enter more than one word (e.g. “banana orange” the program will search all foods which contain both the word “banana” as well as the word ”orange”). Under the text field, there are several additional options to narrow the search criteria - to search all words; or only the containing exact string in food names and also to search only for English food name; or only for original or scientific name; or to implement the search criteria for all three given food names.
Note! - The scientific name is mostly missing from the database; it exists only for generic food items.
If you want to implement the search criteria on the whole database, click the search command button. In case that you want to implement the search criteria only on one food group, click to the thumb picture of that food group.  foodgroup


Simple search, based on food name / or part of the food name and food group selection


How to use the advanced search?

The advanced search, beside the search option based on food name or part of the food name, provides a possibility to define more exact search criteria, based on other food properties. In advanced search option you are able to search based on:


  • Food chemical components – this option allows setting a search criteria based on combination of one or more chemical parameters.  The chemical parameters are grouped into the following main parameter groups:
    • Proximates (energy, protein, water, ash, alcohol, etc)
    • Carbohydrate components
    • Lipid components
    • Minerals and inorganic components
    • Vitamins
    • Fatty acids
    • Organic acids
    • Phenolic components
    • Nitrogen components
    • Food additives


    Advanced Search criteria based on food chemical components

The selected chemical component parameter is possible to describe more precisely with the following attributes:

      • Value or range of the chemical parameter contain with unit definition together
      • Value type
      • Method type
      • Method indicator
      • Reference type
      • Acquisition


        Advanced Search criteria based on food chemical components - details

      • Langual coding system – this system describes the food attributes and all food items in the database is coded based on following criteria:
        • Product type
        • Food source
        • Part of plant or animal
        • Physical state, shape or form
        • Extent of heat treatment
        • Cooking method
        • Treatment applied
        • Preservation method
        • Packing medium
        • Container or wrapping
        • Food contact surface
        • Consumer group/ Dietary use/ Label calm
        • Geographic places and regions
        • Adjunct characteristics of food

      By selecting more than one food attribute from the appropriate tree nodes you can combine the search criteria. The “broad term” and “narrow term” options allow more detailed selection criteria meaning the selected terms and the tree nodes under that term (BT) / or only the selected terms, without the tree nodding under them (NT).



      Advanced Search criteria based on food attributes


      • FoodEX2 coding system – this classification and description system which is developed by EFSA describes the food attributes in a harmonized way.

        The system provides to main search options.

        • Search based on Exposure hierarchy
        • Search based on different facets
        • These facets are divied into following groups

          • Source
          • Part-nature
          • Physical state
          • Ingredient
          • Surrounding medium
          • Fat content
          • Sweetening agent
          • Fortification agent
          • Qualitative info
          • Alcohol content
          • Dough mass
          • Extent of cooking
          • Packaging format
          • Packaging material
          • Part consumed analyzed
          • Production method
          • Preparation production placed
          • Target consumer
          • Intended use
          • Risky ingredient
          • Generic term
          • Source commodities
          • Process
          • Purpose of raising
          • Reproductive level
          • Animal age class
          • Gender
          • Legistlative classes



      Advanced Search criteria based on food FoodEX2 hierarchy and facets


      Important: Food items given as a result of the advanced search criteria are only those food items which include / befit the entire search options defined under the advanced search (that contain all searched food Langual and FoodEX2 attributes and all chemical components and the entered text filter as well). If the searched criteria is complicated the query execution sometimes takes a bit longer.

      The number of searched items for this advanced search is limited to maximum 10 items from each criteria.

      Currently only few datasets are coded according to the FoodEX2 system.



      What is the search result screen ?

      This screen displays the resulted food items, based on search criteria. As default, food items are sorted according to alphabetical English name order. The are 100 resulted food items fitting into one screen. The total number of the resulted food items is also displayed on the screen. There are commands placed on the screen in order to scorll on the page, to move to the next, previous, last and first page and also to sort the resulted food items based on each column content (ascending/descending sort order).



      Search result screen


      How to remove the advanced search criteria?

      With the options : LANGUAL CODES or/and FoodEX2 CODES or/and FOOD COMPONENTS or/and REMOVE ALL FILTERS the advanced search can be removed at the search result screen with appropriate option given on the screen. You can also remove whole filter by selecting the FoodEXplorer breadcrumb on the screen. This option returns you to the main screen of the FoodEXplorer and removes all existing search filters.


      Remove the advanced search criteria from the search result screen



      How to compare component values from different food items?

      By checking/selecting the food items for comparing and then click compare command button.
      The content with selected food items and chemical components value will be displayed on a new screen. The screen gives a systematic and simple overview of the component content for each food item ordered by components.



      Comparing the foods chemical component parameters


      By clicking the comparing by component groups compare1 command button the selected food items chemical components contnent will be sorted and displayed on separate tags by component groups.



      Comparing the foods chemical component parameters presented by component groups on separate tags


      Note: the maximum number of food items for comparison is limited to 20 foods.


      What is “MY CART” and how to put food items into it?

      In the “MY CART” option you can collect the food items that are meant for later downloading. At the end of each food item row in the table there is the following picture: add_to_cart. When you click this basket it becomes delete_from_cart and the content of the cart in the upper right corner of the screen will increase with one item. If you want to remove the food item from the “MY CART”, click once again to the delete_from_cart basket next to the food item and it becomes add_to_cart which means that the food is removed from the “MY CART”.



      Selecting / unselecting food to the “MY CART”


      How to download the content of “MY CART”?

      When you select the my_cart_items option on the new screen, the food items from the ‘my cart’ will be displayed. On this screen you can also find the information about max number of food items for download and the number of so far downloaded items, which are allowed by the administrator.
      With the download_xml option, the food items from the cart will be downloaded /saved in FDTP format. The FDTP format is the Food Data Transport Package format. It is an xml file and the structure is defined by EuroFIR standards.

      The download_xls will download and save/open food items from the cart into .xls format.




      The ”MY CART” screen with data download options


      Note: the maximum number of food items for download is limited up to 40 items for one download session.


      How to overview all detailed data for one food item?

      On the search result screen you can select the food name, which will then show the new food-detailed screen, with the detail data for the food.  On this screen, beside the food name, original name and the food ID, the graph pie presents the % distribution of total energy between fat, protein and carbohydrates.
      In the table below, the general data are divided into three main tabs:

          • Food attributes – which shows the info about food group, edible portion, nature of edible portion, serving size, piece weight, color, final preparation, special gravity, nitrogen factor, fatty acids factor, producer, distributer and retailer.
          • Food components – with chemical component parameters, grouped and sorted by main component groups. The following info is available for each item: selected value, unit, matrix unit, value type, method type, method indicator, reference type, citation, publication date and web address.
          • Langual codes – presents the complete list of assigned langual facet codes for food. This table describes food by langual code, description and note. The info is linked with the EuroFIR Langual thesauri.
          • FoodEX2 codes – presents the complete list of assigned FoodEX2 basic code and facets for food. This table describes food by FoodEX2 coding system.
          • Recipe – for food items with ingredients in background, presents the list of ingredients with amounts, the yield factors for fat, water and weight and the recipe procedure description.


      The components on the component list can be sorted by:

      • Standard sort – presents only the components with values, sorted by component groups.
      • All component sort – presents the provided components with values and all other components up to priority level 4.
      • Alphabetical sort – presents the components with values ordered by the component names.


        Detail food chemical component list


      By the selection of one component value in new window the detail information is presented containg the data for the component group, component, selected value, acquisition type, matrix unit, method type, method indicator, reference citation, date of generation, minimum value, maximum value, etc


        Detail food chemical component list



      Detail food Langual coded facet list for food



      Detail FoodEX2 code list for food



      Ingredient list and recipe preparation method for food




      FoodEXplorer is maintained by EuroFIR AISBL.
      ©EuroFIR AISBL 2022

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