EuroFIR Thesauri

Use of special standardised controlled vocabularies (thesauri) for food composition data (FCD) description is one of the key elements of harmonised and standardised EuroFIR specifications for FCD processing. The specifications are based on a relational database model containing four main and other additional entities. The four main entities (Food, Component, Value, Reference) are mandatory for data documentation and they build the core set that is necessary for proper description of FCD (for more details see the references below).

The description of the food is regulated through the LanguaLTM Thesaurus. Its web page provides access to current and archival versions of the thesaurus, information about updating and other topics, and access to the Food Product Indexer tool to help describing the foods.

EuroFIR Thesauri Table

The following table presents eight EuroFIR Thesauri that are used for documenting the value of a component in a given food. The list also includes the EuroFIR Food Classification thesaurus used for harmonized classification of foods in food composition databases. Brief description of each thesaurus, version number and publishing date of its current version and use of thesauri for data documentation within mandatory entities is presented. 

Thesaurus nameDescriptionVersionPublished Entity
Acquisition Type thesaurusDescription of the origin of the data reported (host system, scientific literature, analytical results, etc.) 1.22017-05-25Value Reference
Component thesaurusDescriptors (identifiers) that are used to identify the component or physico-chemical property to which the reported value relates. It is organised into a hierarchy. 1.62022-05-24Component
Matrix Unit thesaurusTerms for the amount of the matrix material that has quantity reported as the value, usually expressed using the preposition per.1.52019-10-04Value
Method Indicator thesaurusTerms for documenting the method used to obtain a compositional value, including analysis, calculation and imputation. The terms are organised in a hierarchy. 1.62022-05-24Value
Method Type thesaurusA general indication of the type of method used to obtain the associated value.1.22017-05-25Value
Reference Type thesaurus Details of bibliographical references describing documents that are sources of data for value, method, recipe, etc. 1.12011-09-08Reference
Unit thesaurus Terms for the measure used for the amount of the component value or measurable property reported as the value including terms for dimensionless numbers for values that are expressed as ration or as a percentage.1.32022-05-24Value
Value Type thesaurus Description of the data values or a qualitative description of the value when no value can be given. 1.42022-05-24Value
Food Classification ThesaurusA system for classification of foods developed in EuroFIR for harmonized classification in food composition databases. LanguaLTM 2014-1.0 2016-04-08Food

Access EuroFIR Thesauri

An access to EuroFIR thesauri (current and archive versions) is possible using the EuroFIR eThesaurus Manager tool  (username:  eThesaurusGuest, password: guest$Welcome).

The eThesaurus Manager tool is primarily a curator tool for maintenance of and update of the EuroFIR Thesauri, but it also enables a read-only viewing of individual records of thesauri terms and access to the export reports in the following formats:

Systematic display (tree view)tab delimited file listing the thesaurus’ descriptors systematically according to their place in the thesaurus hierarchy.
Alpha-numerical displaytab-delimited text file listing the thesaurus according to the alphanumerical descriptor code. The first line in the tab-delimited file is the root of the thesaurus and indicates the thesaurus name and version.
Alphabetical displaythesaurus descriptors and synonyms listed in alphabetical order for printed documentation.
XML-formatdisplay designed for use in IT applications

Publications on EuroFIR Thesauri

  • Ireland J., Møller A. (2006). EuroFIR workshop and draft recommendations for standard food classification and description systems for use in European food composition databases (Deliverable 1.6.4), submitted 1 April 2006. [cited 14 February 2020];
    Available here 
  • Becker W., Unwin I., Møller A., Ireland J. (2006) EuroFIR IA1.5 Standards Development. Prioritization of nutrient in EuroFIR, version date 28 June 2006.  [cited 14 February 2020]; Available here 
  • Roe M., Unwin I. (2006) EuroFIR component coverage, identification and description. EuroFIR WP 1.5. report, version date 11 February 2006. [cited 14 February 2020];Available here 
  • Becker W., Unwin I., Ireland J., Møller A. (2007) Proposal for structure and detail of a EuroFIR standard on food composition data I: Description of the standard. Version 2007. EuroFIR Technical Report [cited 14 February 2020];
    Available here
  • Becker W., Møller A., Ireland J., Roe M., Unwin I., Pakkala H. (2008) Proposal for structure and detail of a EuroFIR Standard on food composition data. II. Technical Annex - Version 2008. EuroFIR Technical Report D1.8.19. Danish Food Information [cited 14 February 2020];
    Available here
  • Møller A., Unwin I.D., Ireland J., Roe M.A, Becker W., Colombani P. (2008) The EuroFIR Thesauri 2008. EuroFIR Technical Report D1.8.22. Danish Food Information. ISBN 978-87-92125-09-5. [cited 14 February 2020];
    Available here


  • Unwin, I., Møller, A., Ireland, J. (2012) Report on the 1st update of EuroFIR thesauri. EuroFIR Nexus Deliverable 1.11; version date 30 March 2012. [cited 18 August 2016]
    Available here
  • Unwin, I.D., Colombani P., Møller A., Plumb J., Charrondière R(2010). EuroFIR component thesaurus report. Report on the preparation of version 1.1. EuroFIR Deliverable D1.8.33; submitted 12 May 2010. [cited 14 February 2020];
    Available here
  • Unwin, I.D. (2010). EuroFIR component thesaurus report. Report on the preparation of version 1.2. EuroFIR Deliverable D1.8.39; submitted 21 June 2010. [14 February 2020];
    Available here 
  • Unwin, I. (2013) Report on 2dn update of EuroFIR Thesaurus for 2012 including components and method. EuroFIR Nexus Deliverable 1.12; version date 21 March 2013 [14 February 2020];
    Available here
  • Machackova, M., Møller A.& Ireland J. (2017)  The EuroFIR Thesauri – Update wave 2016 – A report; version date 25 May 2017 [14 February 2020];
    Available here
  • Machackova, M., Møller A.& Ireland J. (2019)  The EuroFIR Thesauri – Update wave 2019 – A report; version date 1 October 2019 [14 February 2020];
    Available here
  • Machackova, M., Møller A.& Ireland J. (2019) Thesauri in EuroFIR food composition data documentation (description, update guideline anduse) [14 February 2020];
    Available here



Page updated: 2020-07-16