NCC News | Winter 2015

Homemade Juices vs. Smoothies

Have you encountered homemade juices or smoothies during a dietary recall? Here are some ways to handle entering these foods in NDSR.


Juicing has become popular in recent years, with people using juicers to extract the juice from fresh fruits and/or vegetables. The result is a liquid containing most of the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients found in the fruits and vegetables, but little of the fiber. The NCC Food and Nutrient Database includes many juices, which may be a reasonable choice when a participant reports juicing (e.g., apple juice, unsweetened may be a reasonable match if a participant reports juicing apples, with no sugar added during juicing). The database does not include all possible foods in juice form. If a particular juice is not found in the database try to find a similar match (e.g., kale juice is not in the database, but spinach juice is).


Smoothies are made by blending frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables and may also include ingredients such as ice, milk, yogurt, ice cream, protein powders, herbal supplements or nutritional supplements. If a participant reports a smoothie, it is important to determine if the person made it themselves or if it was purchased. If it was a purchased beverage using the default NDSR fruit smoothie may be a good starting point. On the other hand, if a participant made the smoothie themselves and is able to quantify the foods used as well as the servings made and eaten, the assembled food option may be the best way to capture this food.


If you have questions or are unsure of how to enter smoothies or homemade juices please contact User Support at



In Remembrance of Marilyn Buzzard: An important part of the founding and history of the Nutrition Coordinating Center

Ida Marilyn Buzzard, July 17, 1934 – January 13, 2015


Ida Marilyn Buzzard, née Beemus, died at home of natural causes in Richmond, VA, on January 13th after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.


She was the only woman in her class of 1956 at Brown University to receive a degree in Physics. In between raising four children she went on to earn her PhD in Human Nutrition from Syracuse University in 1979. Marilyn played a critical role in the nascent field of nutrition epidemiology working with other researchers worldwide to develop standardized methodology for dietary collection and assessment.


She was Director of the Nutrition Coordinating Center (NCC) at the University of Minnesota from 1980-1993, and led efforts to create the Nutrition Data System, a new concept for computerized collection and analysis of people’s diets. This program, now known as Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR), continues to be widely used in nutrition-related research.


Marilyn was a faculty member at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center until her retirement in 2005.


She and her husband Jon were active members at the Tikvat Israel Congregation where Marilyn treasured the diverse community. Although Marilyn was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s she always recognized her family and friends, enjoying them and coffee ice cream right to the end.


A graveside service for her burial was held at Greenwood Memorial Cemetery on Jan 16th. She is survived by her husband, Jon Buzzard, her four children, seven grandchildren, and her sister and brother.



Networking NDSR

Networking NDSR is an option NCC offers its clients. By networking, users can share databases and/or a license of NDSR. This could be beneficial as it creates a centralized system and allows for information sharing within a group.


An Amendment to your End User Software License Agreement is required in order to network, and additional software may be necessary. Contact User Support with any questions.


More information and instructions on how to network NDSR are available in Chapter 2 of the User Manual under “Installing NDSR, Networked”.



Ask NCC: How does NCC resolve missing foods that are brand name food products?

For most multi-ingredient brand name foods in the marketplace composition data for all the nutrients in the NCC Food and Nutrient database are not available from the food manufacturer or elsewhere. Rather, the data available is generally limited to the nutrients that are required to be included in the Nutrition Facts Panel. To avoid having missing values for nutrients that are not included in the Nutrition Facts Panel, NCC uses a procedure for calculating the nutrient composition of these types of foods by creating formulations (recipes). The formulations are composed of ingredients (foods) for which composition values for all nutrients in the database are known. Consequently, the nutrient composition of a brand name product may be readily calculated from the sum of the nutrient composition of the ingredients in its formulation.


A NCC developed program called the Food Calculation Program (FoodCalP) is used to create the formulations based on information available for food products (ingredients listed in the ingredient statement and nutrient composition data provided in the Nutrition Facts Panel). FoodCalP includes a linear optimization algorithm that assists us in estimating the amount of each ingredient needed to produce a product with a nutrient profile close to that indicated on the Nutrition Facts panel. These formulations are then entered into NDSR as a User Recipe record and food grouped according to the NCC Food Group Serving Count System.


Want more information on the NCC Food Calculation Program? Refer to the article Accuracy and Efficiency of Estimating Nutrient Values in Commercial Food Products using Mathematical Optimization.



New Foods

The following foods are included in the NCC News Winter 2015 New Food Backup File, available for download on our website.


  • Odwalla Protein Shake – Chocolate
  • Pro Bar – Peanut Butter Meal Bar
  • Keebler Filled Pretzel Bites – Peanut Butter and Fudge
  • Chobani Oats Greek Yogurt – Blueberry
  • Kellogg’s Jif Peanut Butter Cereal
  • Pirates Booty White Aged Cheddar
  • EnviroKidz Organic Panda Puffs Peanut Butter Cereal
  • Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips – Multigrain
  • OMG’s Chocolaty Clusters
  • SunButter Sunflower Spread – Creamy


If you have questions about New Foods, contact Jenny Klein or 612-626-9466.


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