Nutrient and Food Group Analysis


Researchers, clinicians, and educators can use the ASA24 system to analyze 65 nutrients and 37 food groups (US and Canadian versions) and 4 Canadian food groups (ASA24-Canada-2016 and ASA24-Canada-2018 versions) from food recall or record data. Analyses for ASA24-Australia-2016 provide 41 nutrients and no food groups.

Note for users of ASA24-Australia

ASA24-Australia-2016 is based on the Australian Food, Supplement and Nutrient Database (AUSNUT) 2011-13. The AUSNUT file does not contain some nutrients that are included in the US databases used to create ASA24; therefore, 24 of the nutrient variables in the analytic files contain no data. Missing nutrients in the Australian version are noted with an * below. Additionally, ten nutrients (energy without dietary fibre, available carbohydrate without sugar alcohols, starch, ash, total long chain omega 3 fatty acids, total trans fatty acids, pro-vitamin A, Niacin derived equivalents, iodine, tryptophan) that are included in the AUSNUT file are not available in ASA24-Australia-2016. Note also that there is currently no food group database associated with the Australian version.

More information is available on the nutrient and food group databases in our table comparing all versions of ASA24.

A full description of the databases used in the US versions of ASA24 can be viewed on the USDA's website. These government-curated, publicly available databases, used in national surveillance in the US, are among the most complete and comprehensive with respect to nutrients and pyramid equivalents food groups. They do however contain fewer brand name foods than some proprietary or crowd-source databases used in commonly used applications.

Beyond coding responses via the database food codes, no other processing or quality control measures are conducted by ASA24. As with any data collection initiative, researchers should carefully assess the quality of the data they collect from their study respondents. To assist researchers in this effort, output files include a flag to indicate whether the respondent completed the program up to and including the last question. Researchers may want to accept incomplete recalls or records, depending on where and what data are missing. For example, in the food module, researchers may choose to accept a response that lacks portion size details. They may wish to exclude a recall or record that ASA24 codes as complete if the respondent entered poor quality data. The output files also include details of items entered by the respondent that could not be found (i.e., "no match found") in the ASA24 database. Researchers can then assign or modify codes outside of the ASA24 system using FNDDS or any other source and recalculate nutrient or food group intakes.

The ASA24 data analysis files provide data on the following nutrients and food groups:


Macronutrients & Energy

  • Energy (kcal; kJ in Australian version)
  • Protein (g)
  • Total Fat (g)
  • Carbohydrate (g)
  • Water (g)
  • Alcohol (g)
  • Sugars, total (g)
  • Fiber, total dietary (g)


  • Folate, total (mcg)
  • Folic acid (mcg)
  • Folate, food (mcg)
  • Folate, DFE (mcg_DFE)
  • Niacin (mg)
  • Retinol (mcg)
  • Riboflavin (mg)
  • Thiamin (mg)
  • Vitamin A, RAE (mcg_RAE)
  • Vitamin B-6 (mcg)
  • Vitamin B-12 (mcg)
    • Added Vitamin B-12 (mcg)*
  • Vitamin C (mg)
  • Vitamin D (D2 + D3) (mcg)*
  • Vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol (mg)
  • Added Vitamin E (mg)
  • Vitamin K, phylloquinone (mcg)*

* Not available in the Australian version.


  • Calcium (mg)
  • Copper (mg)*
  • Iron (mg)
  • Magnesium (mg)
  • Phosphorus (mg)
  • Potassium (mg)
  • Sodium (mg)
  • Selenium (mcg)
  • Zinc (mg)

* Not available in the Australian version.


  • α Carotene (mcg)*
  • β Carotene (mcg)
  • β Cryptoxanthin (mcg)*
  • Lycopene (mcg)*
  • Lutein + Zeaxanthin (mcg)*

* Not available in the Australian version.

Fats and Cholesterol

  • Total Fat (g)
  • Cholesterol (mg)
  • Fatty acids, total saturated (g)
  • Fatty acids, total monounsaturated (g)
  • Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated (g)

Specific Fatty Acids

  • 4:0, Butanoic acid (g)*
  • 6:0, Hexanoic acid (g)*
  • 8:0, Octanoic acid (g)*
  • 10:0, Decanoic acid (g)*
  • 12:0, Dodecanoic acid (g)*
  • 14:0, Tetradecanoic acid (g)*
  • 16:0, Hexadecanoic acid (g)*
  • 18:0, Octadecanoic acid (g)*
  • 16:1, Hexadecenoic acid, undifferentiated (g)*
  • 18:1, Octadecenoic acid, undifferentiated (g)*
  • 20:1, Eicosenoic acid, undifferentiated (g)*
  • 22:1, Docosenoic acid, undifferentiated (g)*
  • 18:2, Octadecadienoic acid (g)
  • 18:3, Octadecatrienoic acid (g)
  • 18:4, Octadecatetraenoic acid (g)*
  • 20:4, Eicosatetraenoic acid (g)*
  • 20:5 n-3, Eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] (g)
  • 22:5 n-3, Docosapentaenoic acid [DPA] (g)
  • 22:6 n-3, Docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] (g)

* Not available in the Australian version.

Other Substances

  • Caffeine (mg)
  • Theobromine (mg)*
  • Choline, total (mg)*

* Not available in the Australian version.

Food Group Equivalents

(U.S and Canadian versions only)

  • 4 Fruit categories expressed in cup equivalents including:
    • Total fruits
    • Whole or cut citrus, melons, berries (excludes juices)
    • Whole or cut other fruits (excludes juices)
    • Fruit juices
  • 3 Grain categories expressed in ounce equivalents including:
    • Total whole and refined grains
    • Total whole grains
    • Total refined grains
  • 12 Protein categories expressed in ounce equivalents including:
    • Total protein foods (includes meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, soy, nuts and seeds; excludes legumes)
    • Total meat, poultry and seafood (excludes eggs, soy, nuts and seeds and legumes)
    • Beef, veal, pork, lamb and game meat
    • Cured meats
    • Organ meat
    • Poultry
    • Seafood high in n-3 fatty acids
    • Seafood low in n-3 fatty acids
    • Eggs and egg substitutes
    • Soy products excluding soy milk
    • Peanuts, tree nuts and seeds (excludes coconut)
    • Beans and peas (legumes) computed as protein foods
  • 2 Fat categories expressed in grams including:
    • Oils (includes fats naturally present in nuts, seeds, seafood, and vegetable sources except palm and coconut oils and hydrogenated oils)
    • Solid fats (includes fats naturally present in meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, palm and coconut oils and hydrogenated oils)
  • 10 Vegetable categories expressed in cup equivalents including:
    • Total vegetable (excludes legumes)
    • Dark green vegetables
    • Total red and orange vegetables
    • Tomatoes and tomato products
    • Other red and orange vegetables (excludes tomatoes)
    • Total starchy vegetables
    • White potatoes
    • Other starchy vegetables (excludes white potatoes)
    • All other vegetables
    • Legumes (beans and peas) computed as vegetables
  • 4 Dairy categories expressed in cup equivalents including:
    • Total milk, yogurt, cheese, and whey
    • Milk (includes calcium-fortified soy milk)
    • Yogurt
    • Cheese
  • 1 Added Sugar category expressed in teaspoon equivalents
  • 1 Alcohol category expressed as number of drinks
  • 4 Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide (2007) groups expressed in Canadian food guide servings (ASA24-Canada-2016 and ASA24-Canada-2018 versions only)*
    • Grain products
    • Vegetables and fruit
    • Milk and alternatives
    • Meat and alternatives
  • * The food groupings reflect 2007 "Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide." Health Canada is working on developing a tool to assess adherence to new Food Guide recommendations introduced in January 2019.

ASA24 is a registered trademark of HHS.