Food and nutrient databases must be continually updated to reflect changes in the food supply and improvements in data values. The Food Databases Management System (FDMS) is a software application designed to manage the US Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies used for food consumption surveys. Staff of the Food Surveys Research Group use FDMS to accomplish a variety of complex database management tasks. FDMS was created using ObjectPal, the programming language of the commercially available database program Paradox®. With FDMS, users can update the database files with new information such as adding a new food code. Another important feature is the ability to integrate time-related changes into the database files. Better data values, due to improved analytical procedures and sampling methods, can replace older values in the database. When there is a true change to the food product itself, FDMS allows users to specify these time-specific changes with start dates and end dates. Programmed into FDMS is a series of automated quality control checks which monitor processes as they occur. Interfile quality control checks are also in place so that related files can be synchronized and updated. FDMS also contains historical information which staff can use when setting priorities for database updates.

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