NCC News Bite | December 2023


This edition contains the following articles:

Free NARN Webinar: Tips for Quality Assurance and Data Management of 24-hr Recalls with NDSR


Julia Lorenzana Peasley, NCC Director of Operations, will be presenting the webinar “Tips for Quality Assurance and Data Management of 24-hr Recalls with NDSR” for the National Association for Research Nutrition (NARN) on Tuesday, January 16th at 2pm Central Time.  Typically NARN webinars are for members only, but they are opening this webinar up as a special one-time opportunity for non-members to attend for free.  Register now on the NARN website if you would like to attend.  Not a member of NARN? Visit the website to learn more.  They provide valuable resources, mentoring, and education to those working in nutrition research, and the annual membership fee is very affordable.


Per Your Request: Air Frying


Many of you who responded to the August Client Survey requested that we add air frying as a preparation method to our database.  In NDSR 2024, it will be included as a food preparation description along with baked or microwaved.  In the meantime, you can select ‘baked’ in NDSR 2023 and previous versions if a participant reports something that was air fried.


Tips for Using Food Search


Based on some feedback we received in the August Client Survey, we wanted to share some tips that we hope will help you locate foods in the NCC Food and Nutrient Database when using Food Search in NDSR:

  • Note that some foods from unique eating traditions may have different spellings, and searching on one spelling may not result in finding the food if we have it spelled differently in our database.  You could search the internet to look up alternate spellings for the food and try searching for the other spellings, or search on just part of the food name. For example, search for ‘Shaah’ if you are unsure whether Shaah bigays is one word or two.  We also recommend reviewing our Foods Unique to Various Eating Traditions document which highlights some of the foods in different categories.
  • For ingredient type foods, such as dry mixes or vanilla extract, try searching for the ingredient section of the hierarchy by typing ‘ingr’ into the search, and then look for your ingredient from there.
  • While you don’t need to memorize our hierarchy, understanding which food categories include brand name items and which don’t may help alleviate some frustration.  You can review this info in Appendix 5 of the NDSR Manual.  For example, we have many brand name cereals, but if you can’t find an exact brand name match, you can select from the generic options.  On the other hand, we do not have loaf sandwich bread in the database by brand name.  For sandwich bread, you will need to select from the generics—you will not find anything by searching “brownberry” or “wonder bread”. 
  • Several food categories now have a “store brand” option that may be a good match if we don’t have the specific brand you are looking for.


Why Aren’t the Foods I Submit as New Food Requests Included in the Next Version of NDSR?


Some of you have asked why the items you send in as new foods requests aren’t always part of the next version of NDSR.  This is primarily due to the process we use for updating and maintaining the NCC Food and Nutrient Database.  Our database scientists have methodic and organized ways of reviewing food categories and updating them based on the range of products currently available.  Most of our updates are done across a specific product line or food category, and we have found it is best for us to focus our limited resources in this systematic way instead of adding new food requests into our database in a more piecemeal way.  For example, while we understand why certain new food request are made, it may not make sense to include a brand name item into our database if that is a category of foods that is maintained as generics only. 


The back up file you receive with your new food resolutions can be restored into future versions of NDSR for your continued use, but we do recommend that if you restore it for use in a newer version that you run a nutrient totals report and compare that to the current nutrient information for the product, as the update process in NDSR could cause changes in the nutrient totals for the food.  In most cases the changes would be small, but in the case that they are more significant or pertain to a nutrient of high interest for your study, it is best to double check before starting to select them in a record.  


Please Review Your NDSR Quotes


When you are approaching the anniversary of your NDSR support date, you will receive an email from NCC with a price quote for the next year of support.  We would greatly appreciate it if you would review the quote and reply within two weeks if you need us to make a change to the number of copies of NDSR you would like supported, or if the invoice should be sent to someone else.  If you wait to notify us of those types of change until you receive the actual invoice, it creates a bit of a headache for several parties. Thank you.