Systematic Evaluation Of Korean Food Composition Databases Against International Standards A Prerequisite Towards Development Of A Standardized Korean Nutrient Database For Use In International Settings

Hwayoung NOH, International Agency for Research on Cancer , France
NICOLAS G. 1 , PAIK H. 2 , KIM J. 3 , SLIMANI N. 1

1 Dietary Exposure Assessment Group, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France
2 Department of Food and Nutrition, Research Institute of Human Ecology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
3 Molecular Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Centre, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea

Purpose: In the context of global nutritional surveillance, standardized nutrient databases (NDBs) are a prerequisite to derive reliable and comparable nutrient intake data across countries for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. Recently, the first Asian version of an international standardized dietary assessment tool (GloboDiet Korean version) has been developed under the IARC-WHO Global Nutritional Surveillance initiative framework. For validation and further implementation of the GloboDiet Korean version, a standardized Korean NDB is required. Therefore, this review aimed to systematically evaluate available existing Korean NDBs and food composition databases (FCDBs) against the international standards with the ultimate objective to compile a standardized Korean NDB for use in nutritional surveillance and research in international settings.
Methods: Twenty-three food components in existing Korean NDBs/FCDBs were prioritized for validation and implementation purposes. In terms of modes of expression, units, definitions and analytical methods with the international standards provided by Food and Agriculture Organization/International Network of Food Data Systems (FAO/INFOODS), they were then compared. These food components were divided into ‘comparable’, ‘convertible’ or ‘not-comparable’ groups based on the evaluation.
Results: More than two-thirds of components were ‘comparable’ with the international standards. The carbohydrate and energy values were classified as ‘convertible’ and the rest of the components as ‘not-comparable’ due to lack of documentation, inappropriate methods, and/or missing values in the Korean databases. Data from dietary supplement databases are not documented so they were categorised as ‘non-comparable’.  
Conclusion: This review completes the first step towards standardization of the Korean NDBs for use in nutritional surveillance and researches in international settings. Furthermore, this study served as a pilot initiative to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ease standardization of NDBs in countries participating to the IARC-WHO global nutritional surveillance.
Funding source: Korean National Research Foundation (NRF2013R1A6A3A03060992), DEX-IARC resource, and National Cancer Center of Korea (NCC1231100)