On November 7, 2019, users of the USDA Food Composition Database API (or in English -- where and how we get our nutrition data from) were notified that the API was scheduled for End of Life on March 31, 2020. The API was being replaced by Food Data Central (FDC).

What this meant for us was a total overhaul of our entire back-end in how we talk to and manage data from a third-party database, as well as trying to figure out how to map data from the old database (USDA) to the new database (FDC). 

We deployed these changes, as well as a host of other changes (like the ability to view detailed nutrient breakdowns of your recipes on a per-ingredient basis) on March 19, 2020.

For food items linked to the USDA (old) database that we were unable to find a match for in an automated way in the FDC (new) database, we kept a copy of that nutrition data so as to keep your recipes accurate, and to make sure that your recipes and nutrition labels continue to function as you expect. When you are viewing your ingredient data or your recipe nutrition data, you can now easily see where the source of the nutrition data is coming from on a per-ingredient basis. The potential sources are:

  • USDA Database (old data, recommend searching FDC and linking to an FDC item)
  • FDC Database (current nutrition database that we integrate with, thumbs up!)
  • User Defined (this means that you defined the nutrition data for this ingredient yourself)

If you have any questions about this terminology, or what exactly is happening, please be in touch and let us know.

The FDC Database has a pretty good web site for searching and viewing food items and their respective nutrition data and you can take a look at that site right here: Food Data Central Web Site.

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