Composition Foods West Africa Technical Report

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					‘We are what we eat’ - Selected Foods from West Africa

Extract: A new data table to fill the gap in food composition data for traditional West African

Understanding the composition of what we eat is fundamental if we wish to study the effect of
diet on health and disease. Composition data can also help us assess the energy and nutrient
intake of individuals or groups.

Yet there are still many gaps in the collection of this kind of data, especially data that relate to
compositional changes that occur when food is cooked or processed prior to eating, which is
most of the time. And that is not taking into account the many different ways that food can be
cooked and its combination with other ingredients during the preparation of dishes, all of which
may affect its composition.

A new publication aims to fill this gap for traditional West African Foods. ‘Selected Foods from
West Africa’ details 173 foods and 30 components. Most of the data collected were for raw
food although the nutrient values of cooked foods have also been added.

The data is part of a subset of archival data compiled from March to August 2010 from 7 West
African countries, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. The full set is
available upon request.

Selected Foods from West Africa

Development of a Database on the Composition of Food Resources from West Africa’s Food
Systems - Technical Report

For more information contact:
Nadia Bergamini (

The work is a joint effort by FAO (, INFOODS
(, AFROFOODS and Bioversity International along
withWAHO ( who funded the project.

Nutrition, Announcement
Nutrition, publications, West Africa,

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