It is a computerized, bilingual food composition database containing average values for nutrients in foods available in Canada. Much of the data in the most current version of the CNF have been derived from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, up to and including SR27. This Canadian resource includes levels of fortification and regulatory standards specific to Canada, Canadian only foods, and, where appropriate, some brand name foods. Data in the CNF are recorded per 100g of the edible portion of the food. Conversion factors or multipliers to adjust this data to common household measures are provided.
Search online for foods in the Health Canada, Canadian Nutrient File, 2015 version.
The CNF is being updated continuously with information but new publications are released every two or three years. CNF on the web will be updated simultaneously with any release of the database files.
Please contact the Division responsible for the Canadian Nutrient File.
CNF on the web is an interactive tool that allows you to conduct a simple search for a food item and returns profiles showcasing the nutrient values. The downloadable CNF is the complete database file with more metadata describing source, quality and type of data. (This is not accompanied by software.)
The Canadian Nutrient File (CNF) database is in fact comprised of 5 principal relational data files and 7 support files. Both English and French descriptors are included in the relational files. These files must be linked and viewed utilizing your own preferred database management software (Microsoft Access, Lotus Approach, etc.), which will allow you to form queries and generate custom reports. Refer to the Database Structure document for more information on relationships between the files.
You may also download the ACCESS version where the files have already been linked and some queries created.
We are very much indebted to people who use the database and inform us of areas for concern on a regular basis. A variety of problems can occur including data entry errors, inaccuracies from nutrient data sources or even a glitch in our computer program application. In all cases, please contact us if you find an error so that we can correct the situation.
Unfortunately there is no paper copy of the CNF available. It is a very large database with over 400,000 records and would be too cumbersome to produce as a paper copy. The Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods is a condensed version of the CNF containing nutrient information of 1000 foods. Download a copy of the booklet.
As the individual fatty acids are determined by a different analytical method than that of total fat, the sum of fatty acids is rarely exactly equal to the total fat value. Moreover, total fat may include other fatty acids, phospholipids or sterols not analyzed in that food. Values for total saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids may include individual fatty acids not listed in the CNF: therefore, the sum of their values may exceed the sum of the individual fatty acids listed.
These general factors are in fact, averages across all food groups. The more specific Atwater factors (specific to a particular food type) are based on the premise that there are ranges in the heats of combustion and coefficients of digestibility of different proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Energy values in the Canadian Nutrient File are calculated using these more specific Atwater factors.
Information in the Canadian Nutrient File is generic rather than brand specific. It gives you the average nutritional information for a range of products and is not specific enough to be used on a Nutrition Facts table.
The CNF is a database containing nutrient information about generic foods not brand specific products. Also, Kraft Dinner is prepared using a recipe that can be varied substantially so one set of data would not describe the nutrient profile accurately.
The studies on large enough, nationally representative samples of organic versus traditional foods are not available. GMO samples are not labelled differently from regular food, making sample collection difficult.
The mission of the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion (ONPP) is to promote the nutritional health and well-being of Canadians by collaboratively defining, promoting and implementing evidence-based nutrition policies and standards.
Please contact the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion (ONPP) or your local public health unit.
Please check the Vitamins and Minerals page.
Data on all food items, especially generic, is welcome. Whether analytical or calculated, data should include all proximates including water and ash, as well as any nutrients that you may have. Values should be unrounded and unadjusted. It would also help to include individual values for each sample or the mean values, along with the number of samples and the standard deviation.
Please check the Dietary Reference Intakes page.