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.

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 name Description Version Published Entity
Acquisition Type thesaurus Description of the origin of the data reported (host system, scientific literature, analytical results, etc.) 1.2 2017-05-25 Value Reference
Component thesaurus Descriptors (identifiers) that are used to identify the component or physico-chemical property to which the reported value relates. It is organised into a hierarchy. 1.4 2017-05-25 Component
Matrix Unit thesaurus Terms for the amount of the matrix material that has quantity reported as the value, usually expressed using the preposition per. 1.4 2017-05-25 Value
Method Indicator thesaurus Terms for documenting the method used to obtain a compositional value, including analysis, calculation and imputation. The terms are organised in a hierarchy. 1.4 2017-05-25 Value
Method Type thesaurus A general indication of the type of method used to obtain the associated value. 1.2 2017-05-25 Value
Reference Type thesaurus Details of bibliographical references describing documents that are sources of data for value, method, recipe, etc. 1.1 2011-09-08 Reference
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. 1.2 2017-05-25 Value
Value Type thesaurus Description of the data values or a qualitative description of the value when no value can be given. 1.2 2017-05-25 Value
Food Classification Thesaurus A system for classification of foods developed in EuroFIR for harmonized classification in food composition databases. LanguaLTM 2014-1.0 2016-04-08 Food

Access to the 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 display tab-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 display thesaurus descriptors and synonyms listed in alphabetical order for printed documentation.
XML-format display designed for use in IT applications

For more details about the eThesaurus tool see its description.

Maintenance and update of the EuroFIR Thesauri

Maintenance and updating of the EuroFIR Thesauri is provided by EuroFIR. Visit the EuroFIR Thesauri Update page for more information about the updating procedure. 

A list of publications and reports on EuroFIR Thesauri

  1. 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. [cited 18 August 2016];
    Available here
  2. 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 18 August 2016];
    Available here
  3. 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 18 August 2016];
    Available here
  4. 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
  1. Unwin, I.D. (2010). EuroFIR component thesaurus report. Report on the preparation of version 1.1. EuroFIR Deliverable D1.8.33; submitted 12 May 2010. [cited 3 October 2016]
    Available here
  2. 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. [cited 3 October 2016]
    Available here  
  3. 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 [cited 18 August 2016]
    Available here
  4. Machackova, M., Møller A.& Ireland J. (2017) 2017) The EuroFIR Thesauri – Update wave 2016 – A report; version date 25 May 2017 [cited 1 June 2017]
    Available here

Page updated 2017-06-01