What’s New in NDSR 2020?



New – Menu Planner Features

Several new features were added to the Menu record type in NDSR 2020 to streamline use of NDSR for planning nutrient-controlled menus for feeding studies or planning menus in which there are nutrient targets.


These new features will allow the user to specify nutrients of interest for a menu, set nutrient targets with tolerance ranges for that menu, and then adjust food items and amounts to meet targets via a new interactive Planner tab window. A brief video providing an overview of the new Menu Planner Feature is available online.


More information can be found in Chapter 6 – Managing NDSR Menu Records in the NDSR 2020 User Manual.




New – Variable ingredients for whole grain bread, pasta, and rice in mixed dishes and sandwiches

The new variable ingredients prompts users to select between white and whole wheat grain options for many common mixed dishes and sandwiches, allowing for more specificity. 


New Nutrients – Omega-6 Fatty Acids

To support research on Omega-6 fatty acids we added the major Omega-6 fatty acids found in food (PUFA 18:2 n-6; PUFA 18:3 n-6; PUFA 20:4 n-6) to NDSR 2020. In addition, total Omega-6 (sum of the individual Omega-6 fatty acids) was also added to the database and program.


The 6 existing fatty acids were renamed for clarity: 1) added ‘n-3’ to PUFA 20:5 [EPA], PUFA 22:5 [DPA], and PUFA 22:6 [DHA] descriptions, and 2) added ‘undifferentiated’ to PUFA 18:2, PUFA 18:3, and PUFA 20:4.


Food Updates

Many food categories were updated to better reflect the products available in the marketplace. Categories updated include:

  • Frozen treats
  • Lunch meats
  • The following commercial entrée brands: Amy’s, Banquet, Healthy Choice, Hormel / Dinty Moore, Marie Callendar’s, Nestle Hot Pockets & Lean Pockets, and veggie burgers
  • The following fast food restaurants: Chick-Fil-A, KFC, Papa John’s, Sonic, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s
  • Ready-to-eat cereals: Kellogg’s, Post, and Quaker
  • The following brands of meat substitutes were added or updated: Amy’s, Beyond Meat, Boca Burger, Gardein, Good Catch, Impossible Burger, Morningstar Farms, Quorn, Tofurky, and Worthington

A number of new foods were added including:

  • Lasagna, from frozen options
  • Veggie tots
  • Bubble tea
  • Southwest chicken salad
  • Macaroni and cheese from microwave cup (e.g. Easy Mac)
  • Spinach dip
  • Hard seltzer (e.g. White Claw)
  • Lentil flour
  • Coke Energy
  • Additional gluten-free pasta options (e.g. brown rice pasta, edamame, lentil) 


Changes to FDA Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC) incorporated

Changes were made to some of the RACCs (serving sizes) that appear on Nutrition Facts panels as part of the new Nutrition Facts Panel rules implemented in 2020. Accordingly, these changes were made in NDSR. The FDA Serving Size column in output files 01 and 02 align with current RACCs.




The DSAM database was updated with NHANES 2015-2016 Dietary Supplement Database and NCC maintained supplements.