photoDavid A Bendermonogram


Food composition

This program permits you to analyse the nutrients in more more foods than "The Foods You Eat" (over 2700 foods) and display the results in the format of a “food facts” or “nutrition information” label. You can also add each food you analyse to one of four meals, and see the summary of each meal in the same format.

You can download a copy of this program by clicking here. This is a 7 MB file.

This program is provided under a Creative Commons Licence. You are free to modify the database, but I must ask that you respect my copyright and acknowledge my original authorship. You may not sell this program.

Save the file in a new folder, do not attempt to open it on-line. Depending on your browser, and other software on your computer, the file may or may not be saved with the extension .zip. If not, rename the file to give it the .zip extension, then open it with your archiving or zipping program, and extract all the files into the same folder.

Double click on the file foodcomp.exe and the program will run.

The program requires an IBM-compatible PC and a local or network disc that can be written to. The program will only run on an Apple MacĀ® computer if it has PC emulation software installed.

This program is provided under a Creative Commons Licence. You are encouraged to share it, and to add to the database, but only if my original copyright is acknowledged. You may not make commercial use of the program.

Although the information in this program is given in good faith, no responsibility or liability can be accepted for any errors, omisions or mishaps arising from use of the data and results provided.

This program does not use the same database as The Foods You Eat, but data from US Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17, which is freely available from the USDA Nutrient Data laboratory website, and data provided on web sites of fast food restaurants and manufacturers’ labels. Therefore it is not suitable for use in conjunction with the book Food Tables and Labelling (A E Bender and D A Bender, Oxford University Press, 1999). However, if you are not using Food Tables and Labelling, this program has larger selection of foods and data for more more nutrients than The Foods You Eat.

When you start the program you are offered the choice of using the US/Canadian Daily Value (DV) figures or the EU labeling RDA (RDA), and only this value will be used for on-screen display with the nutrient analysis. However, when you print out the results both %DV and %RDA are shown.

You select foods by browsing the aisles of a virtual supermarket; unlike a real supermarket, some aisles appear in more than one place (e.g. cooked meat appears both with other meat and poultry meat and also in the food court restaurants). Once you have found the aisle, the foods available appear in a scroll-down box. Just click on the food to select it.

For most foods there is a standard or average serving. You may either use this default portion or enter the weight of the portion in a tick box.

You are then shown the analysis of the food, and you are offered the choice of adding it to one of 4 meals, or ignoring it.

Once more than 3 foods have been added to a meal it is possible to see the summary of meals and foods added to date. This screen also offers you the chance to save the results to print out when you end the program.

When you end the program you are offered the choice of ending without printing or printing out your saved results. The printout consists of the names of foods added to each meal and the summary nutritional analysis of each meal.

As the program runs, it writes two files to your temporary file storage area (typically on a stand-alone PC this is “my documents / temp”, but may be very different on a network. If you are running the program on a network, you may not be able to access these two files, since some networks hide the user-writeable temporary area. Both files are overwritten when you run the program again.

These two files are:

Foodout.csv – this is a file containing all of the nutrient analysis of the foods you have added to each meal, and the total for each meal. You can open this file in spreadsheet software to carry out any further calculations you wish.
Foodout2.txt – this is the text file from which the summary results are printed, but includes printer control codes (e.g. “newpage”) and is not formatted.

Adding foods to the database

It is possible to add foods (eg prepared dishes) to the database. You should be extremely careful if you attempt to do this, since a mistake can wreck the entire database.


This page updated November 14, 2014