A Partnership for Public Health:

USDA Global Branded Food Products Database


About the USDA Global Branded Food Products Database

The goal of "A Partnership for Public Health: USDA Global Branded Food Products Database" is to improve public health and the sharing of open data by expanding and enhancing the USDA National Nutrient Database — now known as USDA FoodData Central — with nutrient composition and ingredient information on branded foods and private label data provided by the food industry. The publicly available database will contain much more information on individual food items allowing for a true assessment of the extent and fluidity of the food system and will ensure that these data elements are available to those who will utilize them.

The Public-Private Partnership includes: USDA, IAFNS, GS1 US, 1WorldSync, NielsenIQ Label Insight and the University of Maryland.

The USDA Global Branded Food Products Database is a voluntary initiative. However, once a manufacturer or retailer decides to participate and submit data to the USDA Global Branded Food Products Database, they must provide the following information:

  • product name and generic descriptor,
  • serving size in grams or milliliters,
  • nutrients on the Nutrition Facts Panel per serving size and 100 gram-basis, 100 ml-basis, or fluid oz-basis,
  • ingredient list, (never before captured by USDA), and
  • date stamp associated with most current product formulation.

All data is archived, allowing for dietary trends tracking.

The USDA Global Branded Food Products Database officially launched on 16 September 2016 at the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Summit by USDA Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack and Chief Scientist Catherine Woteki.  Read the USDA press release

Update on "A Partnership for Public Health: USDA Global Branded Food Products Database"

USDA releases press release - 16 September 2016

Partnership releases press release - 20 September 2016


Who Contributed?

US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
US Food & Drug Administration
Health Canada
National Nutrient Databank Network
National Institutes of Health
NielsenIQ Label Insight
Penn State University
Pew Charitable Trusts
University of Maryland Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN)
University of Minnesota Nutrition Coordinating Center
USDA Agricultural Research Service
USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
USDA National Agriculture Library

IAFNS's Involvement

A Presidential Memo on 28 October, 2011 directed agencies to develop public-private partnerships in areas of importance to the agency's mission. In response, Dr. Catherine Woteki, Under Secretary and Chief Science Officer of the USDA, developed multiple initiatives, including one to augment the USDA FoodData Central with compositional data on branded food products.  As part of USDA response to the Presidential Memorandum, USDA approached us to see if the organization would join with the Agency in a public-private partnership to enhance USDA FoodData Central with branded and private label food products.

Beyond our interest in seeing big data being realized in USDA FoodData Central, our interest in partaking in the Partnership stemmed from its work on a manuscript on 12 principles for best practices in the establishment and operation of research public-private partnerships and the interest in undertaking a “proof of concept” using the 12 principles.  (more information about the 12 principles)