Nutrition Database Update - USDA SR26

Posted on July 16, 2014 by

A chunk of our nutrition database is from the publicly available USDA database, which is a great resource. The USDA publishes an updated version every year or so, with more data points and new ingredients.

We recently went through the process of updating to the latest version, which I have to say went pretty smoothly after a lot of preparation, research and code. I’m almost looking forward to the next update now that we put in all this legwork.

Changes and Customization to the Database

I wish we could just take the USDA database wholesale and plug it into ReciPal. I suppose we could, but it wouldn’t make as good an experience for you.

We do a few things to update it, improve the data quality, and clean it for food businesses. For example, there are a lot of restaurant, pre-packaged and baby foods that would never be inputs in a food company's products. We remove those from our database so that it doesn’t get cluttered.

I could go on about ways we improved it, but you probably have better things to do. The bottom line is that we now have the latest version of the USDA database on ReciPal and have a great process in place for future updates.

About Lev Berlin

Lev Berlin ReciPal SlantShack Author Bio

Lev Berlin is the founder & CEO of ReciPal. Having previously been a founder of SlantShack Jerky, he needed nutrition labels and simple tools to start and run the business. He's read the FDA food labeling code countless times in the process of creating ReciPal and helping small food businesses with their labels. He's reviewed and created thousands of food labels, and been a mentor and guest speaker at food incubators, food business courses, and regulatory conferences, like Brooklyn Foodworks and ICE.

After graduating from Princeton with an engineering degree, Lev was a management consultant, then founder or early employee at half a dozen startups. He loves nothing more than helping other small businesses get off the ground and achieve their goals.

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