Food and nutrition: useful websites

This page lists useful, free internet resources for food and nutrition. See databases for food and nutrition for a list of key online sources purchased by the University to help you find information in this subject.

Guides and tutorials

General food-related sites

  • The Blonz Guide: Nutrition, Food and Health Resources
    This site is compiled by Ed Blonz, a Certified Nutrition Specialist of the American College of Nutrition, a nutrition consultant, researcher and journalist.

  • Food: an atlas
    Download this free atlas which provides a collection of maps summarising the issues surrounding food production, distribution, security and social issues relating to food.

    A daily online news service available as a free-access website and provides daily and weekly newsletters to subscribers. Useful for keeping up-to-date with the latest food industry news.

  • Free Medical
    This site provides free access to medical journals. Most are completely free - others are free after one or more years after publication. Includes Journal of nutrition (free after one year) and Microbiology (free after two years).

  • Prepared Foods
    A news-based site which contains articles of topical interest (American bias).

    A portal allowing cross-searching of numerous scientific journals and public science databases.

  • Unit Operations in Food Processing
    This is the free web edition of a popular textbook known for its simple approach to the diversity and complexity of food processing.


  • Food Ingredients, packaging and labeling
    Site produced by the U.S. Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition. Includes information about the safety of food additives, fat substitutes, irradiation, and packaging.

  • Food Additives Database
    Produced by the Joint FAO/WHO Committee on Food Additives this database includes food additives other than flavourings. The specifications can be searched by name, INS number, CAS number, or by other factors such as functional use.

  • List of EU approved food additives (2011)
    Replaces three UK Statutory Instruments on food additives (colours, sweeteners and miscellaneous additives

  • Specifications for flavourings Database
    Produced by the Joint FAO/WHO Committee on Food Additives this database includes food flavourings. The specifications can be searched by name, JECFA number, Flavour and Extract Manufacturer's Association of the USA (FEMA) number, Council of Europe (COE) number and the Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) number.

Analysis and chemistry

See also the useful websites for chemistry guide for links in this area.

  • The Chemical Thesaurus reaction chemistry database
    Information about chemical entities and chemical reactions, interactions and processes. Allows you to jump from chemical to chemical via the associated interactions, reactions and processes.

  • ChemIDplus
    Useful site for defining and identifying substances.

  • NIST Data Gateway
    Free access to National Institute of Standards and Technology data covering a broad range of substances and properties from different scientific disciplines.

  • PubChem
    Search substance, compound or bioassay databases to find chemical information including structures, synonyms, molecular weight and formula.

Food law

See also the useful websites for law guide for links in this area.

  • Food Law
    Compiled by Dr David Jukes of the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, this site provides comprehensive listings of sites covering UK, European and International food law.

Food safety: including microbiology, virology and toxicology

  • A-Z index for foodborne illness
    Information about a range of foodborne illnesses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • The "Bad Bug Book"(Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook)
    This handbook provides basic facts regarding foodborne pathogenic microorganisms and natural toxins. It brings together in one place information from the Food & Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service, and the National Institutes of Health.

  • Introduction to food toxicology
    Lecture on food toxicology produced by the University of Idaho

    Produced by the University of Leicester this site contains excellent descriptions and tutorials on a variety of microbiology-related topics.

  • National Toxicology Program
    Site includes factsheets about specific aspects of toxicology and results of the toxicity studies it undertakes for specific chemicals.

  • Priority List of Hazardous Substances
    Produced by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry this list contains substances which are considered to be a threat to human health due to their frequency, toxicity and potential for human exposure.

  • Society for Applied Microbiology
    Full student membership, giving access to the Society's journals and email news updates is around £25 - half the usual subscription rate.

  • Society for General Microbiology
    A membership organisation for scientists working in all areas of microbiology. Undergraduate membership is around £10 per year and gives access to the magazine Microbiology today

  • Toxicology Tutorials
    A series of three toxicology tutorials from the National Library of Medicine designed to give an introduction to the subject.

  • ToxLearn
    A multi-module learning tool providing an introduction to fundamental toxicological principles and concepts

  • TOXNET (Toxicology Data Network)
    TOXNET is a cluster of databases covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals and the environment. In TOXNET you can find TOXLINE which is one of the most well known toxicology databases containing bibliographic information on the biochemical, pharmacological, physiological and toxicological effects of drugs and other chemicals. It contains over 3 million citations, most of which have abstracts and CAS Registry numbers.

Market information

Nutrition and food composition

  • British Nutrition Foundation
    Includes information about specific food groups and news of latest developments.

    The International Network of Food Data Systems has developed standards and guidelines for collection, compilation, and reporting of food component data. Includes links to online sources of food composition information and discussion groups.

  • PubMed (Medline)
    Search for articles across the biomedical sciences including nutrition.

  • USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
    Find the composition of a specific food. Also allows you to find the composition of different weights of that product.

Organisations & institutions

  • AOAC International (formerly the Association of Official Analytical Chemists)
    Focuses on chemical and microbiological analysis in areas of food, drugs, agriculture, environment, forensics. We subscribe to their Official Methods of Analysis.

  • British Nutrition Foundation
    Includes information about specific food groups and news of latest developments.

  • Campden BRI
    Information about membership, research interests, publications and training.

  • Codex Alimentarius Commission
    The Codex Alimentarius Commission is the body responsible for compiling the standards, codes of practice, guidelines and recommendations that constitute the Codex Alimentarius. The Codex Alimentarius, or Food Code, aims to protect public health and encourage fair practices in worldwide food trade. All the standards and databases are being made available on the Commission's website.

  • DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs)
    Includes information aimed at UK food and drink manufacturing industries about improving competitiveness and information on food regulations applied to various food groups. Also provides information on water quality and drinking water. DEFRA statistics are also available free of charge.

  • The Federation of Bakers
    Useful source of information about bread and the bread baking industry - includes statistics.

  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    The FAO site includes news, events, publications and statistical databases.

  • Food and Nutrition Information Center
    The FNIC is one of several information centres at the National Agricultural Library, part of the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. From their site you can access all of FNIC's resource lists and databases, as well as many other food and nutrition related links.

  • Food Standards Agency (FSA)
    Includes information about BSE, labelling, additives, enforcement, safety tips, industry guidance and publications.

  • Health Protection Agency
    A national organisation for England and Wales dedicated to protecting people’s health and reducing the impact of infectious diseases, chemical hazards, poisons and radiation hazards. Includes information about foodborne illnesses.

  • IFIS (International Food Information Service)
    IFIS produce a range of food-related information including the key database in this field - Food Science and Technology Abstracts. The IFIS site includes information about products and a list of journal titles scanned for inclusion in the FSTA database.

  • IFT (Institute of Food Technologists) (USA)
    Includes information on membership, publications and meetings.

  • Institute of Food Science and Technology (UK)  
    The IFST site provides information about their Special Interest Groups and gives position statements on current food-related topics.

  • Leatherhead Food Research
    Leatherhead Food Research is a research, information and training centre for the food and drinks industry. It's site includes information about services, products and publications.

  • US Food and Drug Administration
    Includes information on food additives, food safety and food labelling.

  • US Foreign Agriculture Service
    This site is developed by the US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service. It provides a wide range of global food and drinks market data including country reports, food market overviews and market-specific reports.

Please note: our site descriptions are based on information available on the site described at the time it was evaluated.

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