This document compares the USDA, existing European and the proposed EuroFIR quality assessment systems for evaluation of data from scientific literature and laboratory reports. It is important that all databases evaluate the quality of food composition data according to the same criteria.
The report summarises categories that are assessed and scored by different quality assessment system, and highlights the differences and similarities mainly between them. In summary, the USDA system is designed for limited use, specific components and within a single country (USA) while the EuroFIR system aims to be more generic and is designed for application with a wide range of foods and components.
Specifications for the characteristics of each system are listed in detail.
QI: acronym for Quality Index, which reflects the scores assigned to quality categories.
Sampling plan: information about the representativeness of a food sample.
Sample handling: determines if samples have been dealt with appropriately.
Analytical quality control: accuracy and precision in the day-to-day performance of analytical methods.
Total method rating: composed of three sub-scores related to sample processing, analyses and laboratory validation method used.
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