Food Lexicon

The food lexicon includes descriptions of dishes, particularly in terms of nutrients and energy. 

The browser will help you find food and check:

  • the information on energy and nutrient composition, in the form of a table, chart or pyramid.
  • its possible ingredients
  • the dishes which contain this food as an ingredient.

Food lexicon contains data of foods from the nutrition tables. A large part of the data was obtained through analysis, but some are calculated from the ingredients.

The lexicon also gives you the information gathered with the help of Slovenian manufacturers.

Some historical facts

Sources suggest that the first nutrition table in the form of a scale was used in 1818 to supply prisoners. The first chemical analysis of food in Europe was made in the middle of 19th century. In 1878 the first nutrition table in book form was published in Germany. It is interesting that Americans in this period used predominantly European data. The first American plates were published by Atwater and Woods in 1896. They consisted of almost 2600 analysises of a wide range of foods from all the major categories (meat, cereals, fruits and vegetables) as well as prepared meals.
International Organization Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) published the first international plates in 1949 and is still active in this field within the project International Network of Food Data Systems (INFOODS).

In Slovenia, we have been dealing with the chemical analysis of foods for many years. In 2006, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, issued the first part of the national nutrtition tables with data on the composition of meat and meat products of Slovenian origin in book form. Most of the data collected was the result of our work, analysis of the Biotechnical Faculty, Institute J. Stefan and Agricultural Institute in Ljubljana.

Important sources

Atwater W. O. in Woods C. D., 1896: “The chemical composition of American food materials”. US Office of Experiment Stations. Available at:

Becker W., Møller A., Ireland J., Roe M., Unwin I. nadn Pakkala H., 2008: “Proposal for structure and detail of a EuroFIR Standard on food composition data II”. Technical Annex. D 1.8.19, version 2008.

Bingham S. A., Luben R., Welch A., Wareham N., Khaw K. T. and Day N., 2003: “Are imprecise methods obscuring a relation between fat and breast cancer?”. Lancet 362(9379): 212-4. 

Bognár, A., 2002: “Tables of weight yield of food and retention factors of food constituents for the calculation of nutrition composition of cooked foods (dishes)”. Bundesforschungsanstalt für Ernährung: Karlsruhe. 

Chatfield C., 1949: “Food Composition Tables for International Use”. FAO Nutritional Study no. 3. FAO UN: Washington, DC. Available at:

Golob T., Stibilj V., Žlender B., Doberšek U., Jamnik M., Polak T., Salobir J. and Čandek-Potokar M., 2006: Slovenske prehranske tabele – Meso in mesni izdelki. University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Food Science and Technology.

Konig J., 1878: Chemie der Menschlichen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel. Springer: Berlin.

Norat T. s sod., 2005: “Meat, fish, and colorectal cancer risk: The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition”. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 97(12): 906-16. 

Percy P. F. and Vaquelin N. L., 1818 : “Sur la qualitié nutritive des aliments comparé entre eux“. Bulletin of the Faculty of Medicine 6: 75-91. 

SOUCI S. W., FACHMANN W. and KRAUT H., 2004: Food Composition and Nutrition Tables. Scherz H. and Senser F. (ed.). 6th Revised and Completed Edition, Medpharm: Stuttgart.

Food search

Use the field "Browser: Enter the name of the food..." and enter the name of the food and select the desired food in the offered list. 

In the field "Number" specify the number of units and in the field "unit" specify the unit (e.g. 1 cup, gram, etc.). The values ​​in the table, chart and pyramid are automatically adjusted.

Quantities, units and weight

You can choose different units for the selected food in the food lexicon, from the usual grams to the standard measuring units.

For some food we also have the possibility to substract the waste (i.e. inedible part of the food, such as the peel, core, skin, bones, etc.). If you tick the box "Edible part only", wastage is substracted and we get the net weight of the food.

Energy and nutritional value of selected foods

In the lexicon of food you can see the energy value and the nutritional value of selected nutrients.

These are selected in the personal profile settings under the tab Observed nutrients.