Interpretation of food composition data

All data refer to 100 g edible portion for solid foods or to 100 ml for liquid foods. Inedible fractions such as stones, kernels, bones, etc. are not taken into account. Unless otherwise stated, all data refer to fresh, uncooked, unprocessed foods.

Some examples are given below for clarification purposes:

100 g bananas = 100 g peeled bananas
100 g peaches = 100 g peaches without stones
100 g cherries = 100 g cherries without stones and stalks
100 g walnuts = 100 g shelled walnuts
100 g chop = 100 g chop without bones
100 g trout = 100 g trout without fish bones, head etc

All data are understood to mean average values and not as absolute values, because the food composition of foods is subject to natural variations. The individual composition of a food depends on factors such as climate, degree of ripeness, season, origin, variety, feed, storage and processing conditions, etc.

For processed products such as sausages, dairy products or pastries, different recipes lead to considerable differences in the nutritional values.

The total weight of the nutrients is not always 100 g exactly. There are various reasons for this:

  • The information is based on 100 ml and the food is more or less dense than 1. For example, a density > 1g/ml means that 100 ml is heavier than 100 g and the total weight of the nutrients therefore exceeds 100 g.
  • The individual pieces of information come from different analyses and/or sources. Deviations of +/- 5% are tolerated.

The Swiss Food Composition Database contains a variety of dishes (e.g. apple tart or risotto) and foods (e.g. bread) for which the nutritional values have been calculated. Whenever possible, standard recipes were used. Unless stated otherwise, recipes requiring the addition of salt were calculated with non-iodised salt.

If individual nutritional value data exist for a food (e.g. on packaging or company websites) then, in general, those are to be preferred to the genericĀ¹ information in the Swiss Food Composition Database.

The quantities declared on packaging also represent average values that have been analysed or calculated (e.g. with the help of the Swiss Food Composition Database). They must reflect the nutrient content at the time of delivery (i.e. up to the end of the sell-by date or expiry date) and must refer to the edible prepared food.

1) By generic foods, we mean general/ordinary foods with no link to a specific manufacturer or provider.