The sector of food supplements is certainly varied and growing: an ever wider offer of new products is launched on the market every year. This is reflected in new reorganization of drug companies and new marketing strategies, in the adoption of new production technologies with resulting changes in dietary supplements regulation. In this context, information on composition reported in labels of selected dietary supplements was collected and updated for the development of a Dietary Supplement Label Database according to products' availability on the Italian market and also including items consumed in the last Italian Dietary Survey. For each item, a code was assigned following the food classification and description system FoodEx2, revision 2. A total of 558 products have been entered into the database at present, trying to give a uniform image and representation of the major classes of food supplements, and 82 descriptors have been compiled. Various suggestions on how the number of FoodEx2 system descriptors could be expanded were noted during the compilation of the database and the coding procedure, which are presented in this article. Limits encountered in compiling the database are represented by the changes in the formulation of products on the market and therefore by the need for a constant database update. The database here presented can be a useful tool in clinical trials, dietary plans, and pharmacological programs.
Keywords: Dietary Supplement Label Database; FoodEx2; dietary supplements; food classification; food description.