FAO/WHO GIFT | Outil FAO/OMS de dissémination de données individuelles de consommation alimentaire au niveau mondial

Food groups and sub-groups

Why were the FAO/WHO GIFT food groups and subgroups developed?

One of the main challenges of harmonizing food consumption data is the harmonization of the coding of food items. Foods vary between countries and regions in terms of form, varieties, preparation methods and many other characteristics. It is key to maintain comparability without losing detailed information about what has been consumed. The use of a common food classification and description system among food consumption surveys from different countries, covering different age and sex population groups, contributes to the harmonization of dietary data globally.

The individual quantitative food consumption datasets shared through FAO/WHO GIFT are coded with the FoodEx2 system. FoodEx2 is a comprehensive and flexible food classification and description system developed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It was first developed to be used at the European level, and was later scaled-up to the global level in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO), to enable the description and classification of food items consumed in other regions of the world, such as insects, flowers and wild foods.

The FoodEx2 classification and description system contains different hierarchies that differently aggregate individual food items with similar characteristics into food groups and comprehensive food categories in a hierarchical manner. The FoodEx2 Exposure hierarchy was designed to facilitate the grouping of food items for dietary exposure calculations, which is a key step in the risk assessment process in food safety. This is the hierarchy that is usually used for coding food consumption data.

FAO worked to develop the FAO/WHO GIFT food groups and sub-groups with the aim of developing simpler and more nutrition-sensitive food grouping which would allow non-specialist users to draw the conclusions from the indicators presented in the FAO/WHO GIFT platform in an intuitive way.

The food grouping used in the FAO/WHO GIFT platform was developed based on the food groups used for Dietary Diversity Score indicators, as well as those typically used in food-based dietary guidelines. The food grouping was meant to reflect the role of foods in the diet and to be intuitively understood by non-specialist users. It was also reviewed by food composition specialists and compared with the food grouping used by the CIFOCOss, now integrated into the FOSCOLLAB platform, to ensure maximum possible coherence with other similar classifications. Finally, the food groups were mapped with FoodEx2 reportable terms and it was ensured that they are collectively exhaustive and mutually exclusive.

The food lists which have not been mapped with FoodEx2, can be mapped on the FAO/WHO GIFT food groups manually, based on the descriptions of the food groups presented in the list below.

It should be noted that the food group no. 18 “Composite dishes” has been created to temporarily accommodate data on consumption of dishes for which information on recipe disaggregation lacks. This happens typically when foods are consumed outside home, and survey respondents are not able to provide the full list of ingredients including their proportions and preparation methods, and/or when a standard recipe could not be applied.

The FAO/WHO GIFT platform prioritizes the dissemination of surveys in which recipes have been disaggregated into ingredients; thus, efforts are put in place to support data providers who agree to disaggregate any mixed dishes present in the dataset. This approach is in accordance with the recommendations from EFSA, which also stimulates and provide support to European countries to collect information on recipes disaggregated into ingredients.

How are the food groups and subgroups used to compute indicators in the FAO/WHO GIFT platform?

Currently, FAO/WHO GIFT provides ready-to-use indicators based on individual food consumption data in the areas of food consumption, food safety and nutrition. These indicators can be browsed by food groups, sub-groups and food items. The computation of indicators is done by the backend technology of the platform, by automatically assigning each food consumed to a food group/sub-group based on its FoodEx2 code.

FAO/WHO GIFT nutrition-sensitive food grouping

 

 

1.       Cereals and their products

1.1.           Rice and rice-based products | Rice, including secondary commodities and derived products such as semolina, flour, bran, popped rice, rolled grains and porridge and manufactured rice-based products such as processed rice-based flakes, noodles, bread and milk imitates, excluding manufactured rice-based snacks such as chips.

1.2.           Maize and maize-based products | Maize, including secondary commodities and derived products such as semolina, milled grain, maize germ and cornmeal porridge and manufactured maize-based products such as processed maize-based flakes, maize starch and popcorn, excluding manufactured maize-based snacks such as chips.

1.3.           Wheat and wheat-based products | Wheat, including  secondary commodities and derived products such as groats, semolina, flour, bran, wheat grain germ, rolled and popped grains and porridge and manufactured wheat-based products such as processed wheat-based flakes, puffed grains, pastas and breads and dough-base foods, excluding manufactured wheat-based snacks such as chips.

1.4.           Sorghum and sorghum-based products | Sorghum, including secondary commodities and derived products such as flour, and manufactured sorghum-based products, excluding manufactured sorghum-based snacks such as chips.

1.5.           Millet and millet-based products | Millet, including secondary commodities and derived products such as groats, flour and rolled grains, and manufactured millet-based products, excluding manufactured millet-based snacks such as chips.

1.6.           Other cereals, mixed cereals or unspecified cereals and their products | Grains other than rice, maize, wheat, sorghum and millet, such as barley, buckwheat, oat, rye, spelt, etc., and unspecified grains, their secondary commodities and derived products such as groats, flours, brans, flakes, popped cereals, rolled grains, porridges and others, and manufactured cereal-based products such as cereal bars, muesli, industrial ready to eat porridges, pastas and noodles, breads, starches and milk imitates, excluding manufactured cereal-based snacks such as chips.

2.       Roots, tubers, plantains and their products

2.1.           Potato, sweet potato and their products | Potato and sweet potato, including secondary commodities and derivatives such as starch and dried potato, excluding manufactured potato-based snacks such as potato chips, etc.

2.2.           Cassava and similar roots (excluding taro) and their products | Cassava and similar roots such as "blue taros" and tannias (Xanthosoma spp.), canna, chayote roots and konjac roots (excluding taro - Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott), including secondary commodities and derivatives, excluding manufactured snacks such as cassava chips, etc.

2.3.           Taro and taro-based products | Taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott), including secondary commodities and derivatives, excluding taro-based manufactured snacks such as chips, etc.

2.4.           Yam and yam-based products | Yam (Dioscorea L. spp), including secondary commodities and derivatives, excluding taro-based manufactured snacks such as chips, etc.

2.5.           Other and unspecified starchy roots and tubers (excluding sugary roots and tubers) and their products- Starchy roots and tubers other than potato and sweet potato, cassava and similar roots, taro and yam, including secondary commodities and derivatives, excluding manufactured snacks such as chips, etc.

2.6.           Plantain and plantain-based products | Plantains, including secondary commodities and derivatives, excluding plaintain-based manufactured snacks such as plantain chips, etc.

3.       Pulses, seeds and nuts and their products

3.1.           Pulses (excluding soybeans) and their products | Dry beans (excluding soybeans), peas, lentils, lupins and other and unspecified pulses and their sprouts, including derived and manufactured products such as canned or jarred legumes, hummus, etc.

3.2.           Soybean and soy-based products | Dry soybeans and their sprouts, including derived and manufactured products such as tofu, soy drinks, texturized soy proteins, meat imitates, milk and milk product imitates.

3.3.           Nuts, seeds and their products | Nuts and seeds such as tree nuts (almonds, cashew nuts, chestnuts, coconuts, walnuts and similar, etc.) and oilseeds (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseeds, etc.), including derived and manufactured products of them such as dried nuts, flours and powders, peanut butter, tahini paste and milk imitates.

4.       Milk and milk products

4.1.           Milk: fresh and processed (excluding fermented milk products, cream, whey, cheese and other milk products) | Milk from cattle, equine and other mammals including secondary commodities and products derived from milk by reducing water or/and increasing sugar content and isolating milk protein such as evaporated, condensed and powdered milk and milk protein, and manufactured products such as dairy snacks, flavoured milk, etc., which are not fermented milk products, cheese, cream or whey.

4.2.           Fermented milk products | Fermented products of cow, sheep, goat or other mammal's milk such as yoghurts, kefir, kumis, sour and fermented milk, including flavoured and non-flavoured products.

4.3.           Cream, whey and any other milk products excluding fermented milk products and cheese | Products derived from cow, sheep, goat or other mammal's milk by isolating its different fractions such as cream, whey and other milk products (excluding isolated milk fats), including dried products such as powdered whey, cream and sour cream and isolated whey protein, and manufactured products such as flavoured whey, cream and sour cream, etc.

4.4.           Cheese | Any kinds of cheese manufactured from cow, sheep, goat or other mammal's milk such as cured and uncured cheese, brined cheese, ripened cheese (soft and hard), including cheese rind and including processed cheese such as spreads, etc.

5.       Eggs and their products

5.1.           Eggs: fresh and processed | Bird eggs (whole and their fractions: separated yolk or white) such as poultry eggs (hen, duck, geese, quail, turkey, etc.) and other birds eggs (seagull, emu, nandu, ostrich and other birds), including processed eggs such as dried eggs, etc., and manufactured products such as solid egg rolls.

6.       Fish, shellfish and their products

6.1.           Freshwater fish (excluding offal): fresh and processed (excluding dried) | Freshwater fish, meat only, including processed fish such as marinated, pickled, salt-preserved, canned or jarred, smoked, etc. and manufactured fish products such as fish pastes, surimi, etc., excluding dried fish.

6.2.           Diadromous fish (excluding offal): fresh and processed (excluding dried) | Diadromous fish, meat only, including processed fish such as marinated, pickled, salt-preserved, canned or jarred, smoked, etc. and manufactured fish products such as fish pastes, surimi, etc., excluding dried fish.

6.3.           Marine fish (excluding offal): fresh and processed (excluding dried) | Marine fish, meat only, including processed fish such as marinated, pickled, salt-preserved, canned or jarred, smoked, etc. and manufactured fish products such as fish pastes, surimi, etc., excluding dried fish.

6.4.          Offal - fish and shellfish: fresh and processed (excluding dried) | Offal from all types of fish and shellfish, mixed and from unspecified sources, including processed offal such as marinated, pickled, salt-preserved, canned or jarred, smoked, etc. and manufactured offal products such as pastes, etc., excluding dried offal.

6.5.           Shellfish (excluding offal) - all types: fresh and processed (excluding dried) | Shellfish, crustaceans and molluscs, including processed shellfish such as marinated, pickled, salt-preserved, canned or jarred, smoked, etc. and manufactured shellfish products such as pastes, etc., excluding dried shellfish.

6.6.           Fish and shellfish - mixed or unspecified: fresh and processed (excluding dried) | Fish and shellfish, mixed and of unspecified source, including processed fish and shellfish, such as marinated, pickled, salt-preserved, canned or jarred, smoked, etc. and manufactured fish shellfish products such as pastes, etc., excluding dried fish and shellfish.

6.7.           Fish and shellfish (including offal) - all types: dried | Dried fish and shellfish, including freshwater fish, diadromous fish, marine fish, shellfish and offal and unspecified source dried fish and shellfish, including sundried and industrially dried, and dried fish products with added flavouring ingredients such as salt, sugar, soy sauce, etc.

7.       Meat and meat products

7.1.           Offal - all types: fresh and processed (excluding dried) | Organ meat such as liver, kidney, heart, lungs, intestines, blood etc., from mammals and birds, mixed and from unspecified sources, including processed and manufactured offal products, excluding dried offal.

7.2.           Mammals, reptiles and amphibians (excluding offal): fresh and processed (excluding dried) | Mammal meat (excluding offal), such as bovine, pork, equine, goat, sheep, camelid, deer, rabbit, game animals, marine mammal, kangaroo, rodents such as guinea pig and rat, etc., and reptiles and amphibians such as snails, crocodiles, frogs, snakes, turtles, lizards, etc., including processed products such as cold meats (cured or seasoned), smoked meats, pre-cooked sausages, marinated meats, canned or tinned meats, and manufactured products such as meat-based spreads, gelatines, etc., excluding dried meats.

7.3.           Birds (excluding offal): fresh and processed (excluding dried) | Bird meat (excluding offal), such as chicken, turkey, duck, goose, pigeon, ratites, quail, pheasant and other game birds, etc., including processed products such as cold meats (cured or seasoned), smoked meats, pre-cooked sausages, marinated meats, canned or tinned meats, and manufactured products such as bird meat-based spreads, excluding dried meats.

7.4.           Meat - mixed or unspecified: fresh and processed (excluding dried) | Meat, mixed and of unspecified source, including processed meat such as cold meats (cured or seasoned), smoked meats, pre-cooked sausages, marinated meats, canned or tinned meats, and manufactured products such as bird meat-based spreads, excluding dried meats.

7.5.           Meat - all types: dried | Dried meat, including mammal, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and their offal, including sundried and industrially dried, and dried meat products with added flavouring ingredients such as salt, sugar, soy sauce, etc.

8.       Insects, grubs and their products

8.1.           Insects and grubs | All terrestrial insects such as spiders, mites, ticks, beetles, flies, bugs, ants, etc., and grubs such as earthworms, including processed products such as dried insects, and manufactured products such as powdered insects and grubs.

9.       Vegetables and their products

9.1.           Leafy vegetables: fresh | Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, rocket salad, mustard leaves, bay leaves, spinach and similar, chard and similar, whitlow, cabbage and brussels sprouts, kale, other leafy brassica and ferns, and seaweeds such as algae and prokaryotes organisms, consumed fresh and after basic household processing such as cooking, excluding drying, pickling and other ways of preserving.

9.2.          Yellow and orange vegetables: fresh | Food group not in use

9.3.           Vegetables (excluding leafy vegetables and including fresh legumes): fresh | Non leafy vegetables such as sprouts (excluding legume sprouts), shoots, flowering brassica (broccoli, cauliflower and similar), bulb vegetables (fresh garlic, onions  and similar), stems and stalks eaten as vegetables (asparagus, leeks, bamboo, palm hearts and similar)  fresh legumes seeds also eaten with pods, flowers used as vegetables, fruiting vegetables (okra, cucumbers, tomato and similar), roots and tubers (excluding starchy roots and tubers included under the “roots and tubers” group and sugar roots and tubers) (carrot, radishes and similar), fungi, and mosses and lichens, consumed fresh and after basic household processing such as cooking, excluding drying, pickling and other ways of preserving.

9.4.           Vegetables - all types: dried | Dried vegetables, leafy vegetables and other vegetables, excluding starchy and sugary roots and tubers, including sundried and industrially dried vegetables.

9.5.           Vegetables - all types, mixed and unspecified: processed (excluding dried) | Processed (excluding dried) leafy and other vegetables, excluding starchy and sugary roots and tubers, including canned and jarred vegetables, concentrates such as tomato concentrate, pickled, salted, marinated and fermented vegetables, manufactured vegetable products such as vegetable pastes, dairy and meat imitates (excluding soy-based imitates).

9.6.           Vegetables - mixed and unspecified: fresh | Vegetables, mixed and of unspecified source, consumed fresh and after basic household processing such as cooking, excluding drying, pickling and other ways of preserving.

10.   Fruits and their products

10.1.        Yellow and orange fruits: fresh | Food group not in use

10.2.        Fruits: fresh | Fruits such as citrus fruits (oranges, limes and similar), pome fruits (apples, quinces, loquats and others), stone fruits (apricots, cherries and similar), berries and small fruits (grapes, strawberries and similar), and other fruits (table olives, figs, litchis, etc.), consumed fresh and after basic household processing such as cooking, excluding drying, pickling, candying, etc..

10.3.        Fruits: dried | Dried fruits of any kind, including sundries and industrially dried, excluding candied fruits.

10.4.        Fruits: processed (excluding dried and candied) | Processed (excluding dried, candied and fermented) fruits, including canned and jarred, pickled, preserved in vinegar brine, etc.

11.   Fats and oils

11.1.        Vegetable fat and oil (excluding red palm oil) | Oils, butters and margarines derived from fruits such as olives, seeds such as sunflower, rape seed, soy bean, etc., and other plants such as palms (excluding red palm).

11.2.        Red palm oil | Oil derived from the derived from the mesocarp (reddish pulp) of the fruit of the oil palms, primarily the African oil palm Elaeis guineensis, unrefined, red coloured, with high content of β-carotene. | Food group not in use

11.3.        Animal fat and oil | Lards, tallows, fats, butters and oils of animal origin.

12.   Sweets and sugars

12.1.        Dough-based sweets | Sweets made predominantly with dough, such as bakery and pastry products, (fried and baked sweet doughs, laminated dough, cakes, cookies, biscuit, crackers, waffles, etc.), which may also contain non-cereal components such as creams, fillings and toppings.

12.2.        Chocolate-based sweets | Sweets made predominantly with chocolate or cocoa, such as various types of chocolate, pralines, chocolate spreads and sauces, etc., which may contain also other ingredients.

12.3.        Fruit and nut-based sweets | Sweets made predominately from fruits or nuts, eventually vegetables, where these ingredients are processed with sugar (candied or chocolate-coated fruits, jams, marmalades, fruit jellies etc.), which may contain also other ingredients.

12.4.        Other sweets | Any other sweets which are not made predominantly from dough, chocolate, fruits, nuts or dairy such as candies, jellies and sweet bars, desserts and sweet dessert sauces and toppings, etc.

12.5.        Sugars | Sugars such as mono- and di-saccharides (sucrose, lactose, galactose, etc.), syrups (molasses and similar), maltodextrins (maltodextrin, dextrin, polydextrose), honey and others (polyols, polyfructoses, etc.).

12.6.        Dairy or dairy imitate based sweets | Sweets made predominantly from dairy or dairy imitates such as custards, puddings, ice cream, milkshakes, dairy snacks etc, which may contain also other ingredients.

13.   Spices and condiments

13.1.        Herbs and spices | Herbs such as aromatic and dried herbs and flowers used as spices, etc., and spices such as bud, seed, fruit, root and rhizome spices, etc..

13.2.        Condiments | Condiments, sauces and relishes such as soy sauce, seasoning mixes, flavour extracts, vinegars, salsas, pesto, chutneys, etc.

14.   Beverages

14.1.        Alcoholic drinks | Alcoholic drinks such as beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages (liquors, unsweetened spirits, mixed drinks such as cocktails, punch, sangria, etc., fermented fruit and their products).

14.2.        Drinking water | Drinking water including tap, well, and filtered tap water, and regular drinking bottled water including mineral water, flavoured water and fortified water.

14.3.        Tea, herbal tea, coffee and cocoa | Coffee including coffee imitate beverages, coffee beans, coffee-beverage preparation powder and other coffee imitate ingredients and teas, and herbal teas and infusions, including the ingredients for preparation of such infusions: leaves, flowers, roots, cocoa beans, as well as powders based on teas, infusions and cocoa.

14.4.        Clear broths | Food group not in use

14.5.        Soft drinks | Soft drinks including carbonated water-based flavoured drinks such as cola-type drinks, flavoured soft drinks, soft drinks with fruit content below 25%, and other soft drinks such as functional drinks and drink mixes.

14.6.        Fruit and vegetable drinks | Drinks which contain 25-99% of fruit or vegetable juice, such as fruit nectars (containing minimum 25-50% of fruit), smoothies, and fruit vegetable juice concentrates, extracts and powders.

14.7.        100% fruit and vegetable juices | Fruit and vegetable juices which does not contain any other ingredients than the named source.

15.   Foods for particular nutritional uses

15.1.        Infant  formulas and ready-to-eat meals for infants and young children | Foods for infants and young children such as infant and follow on formulae, ready to eat meals for infant and young children, processed cereal -based foods, herbal beverages, infusions and juices and nectars for this group of population and special foods for children growth.

15.2.        Foods for weight reduction | Foods for weight reduction including total daily diet and single meal replacements for weight reduction.

15.3.        Foods for sporting people | Foods for sporting people including carbohydrate-rich energy food products, carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions, protein and protein components, micronutrients supplements and carnitine and carnitine-based supplement for sports people.

15.4.        Foods for medical purposes | Dietary foods for special medical purposes including nutritionally complete and incomplete formulae, formulae for metabolic disorders and oral rehydration products.

16.             Food supplements and similar

16.1.        Food supplements and similar | Food supplements and similar preparations such as vitamin and mineral supplements, protein and amino-acid supplements, enzyme and coenzyme formulations and natural supplements such as bee-produced, herbal, algae-based, yeast-based probiotic or prebiotic and other formulations.

17.   Food additives

17.1.        Sweeteners and flavourings | Sweeteners and flavourings such as table-top sweeteners, essences and extracts and artificial sweeteners (e.g. aspartame, saccharine).

17.2.        Colorants | Colorants including natural and artificial food colours.

17.3.        Other food additives | Other food additives such as preservatives, gelling agents, acid, etc.

17.4.        Home-preparation aids | Home preparation aids such as preparations for raising and flavouring home-made bakery, gelling home-made food, flavouring and other processing aids.

17.5.        Ingredients for food fortification/enrichment and supplements | Ingredients for food fortification/enrichment and supplements such as vitamins, chemical elements (microelements), dietary fibre, phytochemicals, caffeine, etc.

17.6.        Microbiological or enzymatic ingredients | Microbiological or enzymatic ingredients such as starter cultures, yeast cultures, enzymes for food manufacture and moulds or micro-fungal cultures.

18.   Composite dishes

18.1.        Meat-based dishes | Composite dishes, excluding soups, which main ingredient is meat, such as meat or offal stews, meat loafs, moussaka, etc.

18.2.        Fish and seafood-based dishes | Composite dishes, excluding soups, which main ingredient is fish or other seafood, such as fish and seafood stwes, salads, cakes, etc.

18.3.        Egg-based dishes | Composite dishes, excluding soups, which main ingredient is egg, such as omelette with different ingredients, etc.

18.4.        Potato-based dishes | Composite dishes, excluding soups, which main ingredient is potato, such as baked potato pies, potato salads, potato croquettes and various meals with potatos and meat, cheese, vegetable or other ingredient additions.

18.5.        Legume-based dishes | Composite dishes, excluding soups, which main ingredients are legumes or legume-based products such as tofu, such as legume or tofu salads, legume stews with legumes and meat, cheese, vegetable or other ingredient additions.

18.6.        Vegetable-based dishes | Composite dishes, excluding soups, which main ingredient is vegetables such as vegetable steweds and creams, vegetable soufflé, etc. | Vegetable-based dishes include also mushroom-based dishes.

18.7.        Bread-based dishes and finger foods | Composite dishes, excluding soups, which main ingredient is bread, such as pizza and stuffed bread, sandwiches, hamburgers | Bread-based dishes includes also finger foods which are based on bread.

18.8.        Pasta and noodle-based dishes | Composite dishes, excluding soups, which main ingredient is pasta or noodles such as stuffed pasta or pasta or noodles with sauce typically containing meat, cheese, vegetable or other ingredient additions, etc.

18.9.        Rice-based dishes | Composite dishes, excluding soups, which main ingredient is rice, such as rice with sauce typically containing meat, cheese, vegetable or other ingredient additions, but also dishes such as paella, rice pudding, milk rice, etc.

18.10.     Savoury pies and tarts | Composite dishes, with various ingredients served in a form of pies or tarts such as quishe, typically containing eggs and meat, cheese, vegetable or other ingredients.

18.11.     Soups | Soups including home-made soups and dry mixtures, typically containing vegetable, meat, legumes or other ingredients, such as meat and vegetable soups, gazpacho, fruit soup, dairy or egg soups, etc.

18.12.     Salad-based dishes | Composite dishes, which main ingredients are fresh vegetables, typically containing other ingredients such as meat, grains, legumes, cheese, oil, etc.

19.   Savoury snacks

19.1.        Crisps and curls | Fried or baked savory chips prepared based on tubers or cereals such as potato chips or corn chips.

19.2.        Other snacks | Other savory snacks prepared based on tubers or cereals.

 

Definitions:

·        Processed foods – foods which undergone some sort of processing which partly changed their nature in relation to their form as fresh foods.

·        Secondary commodity – the lowest level of processing. Includes dried plant and animal origin foods, milled grains and milk that has undergone a simple processing leading to the removal of certain ingredients such as water, milk fat etc.

·        Derived Products – various intermediate products in the manufacture of edible food products, such as isolated fractions of animal source products (animal fat, milk fractions, etc.),  and plant origin foods (grain milling fractions, oils, juices, plant butter, molasses) and meat, fish and seafood after simple processing such as boiling, freezing, etc.

·        Manufactured products: multi and single ingredient processed foods which are normally pre-packed and ready for consumption without cooking and which are typically prepared out of derived products of plant or animal origin.