I want to be able to search for foods by specific fatty acids. My specific use case is finding foods with short- and medium-chain fatty acids but not long-chain fatty acids.

Are there any data-sets / websites that provide this sort of information? This is the sort of thing that either requires programmatic filtering of the dataset or for someone else to have specifically provided features for searching based on this criteria.

Approaches tried

The USDA database does not provide this information. As included in @tetraminos answer below, USDA contains the necessary information: individual fatty acids are given names like "4:0" and "16:1 undifferentianted" with codes like "F4D0"

Self nutrition data appears to have this information, but no effective way to search for what I want (fatty acids more details). Is there data derived from a public source?

Given a particular food you can often find the information you want by googling.

1 Answer 1


The USDA database does provide detailed information about fatty acids in foods. Too detailed actually: for each food, you can get the amount of fatty acids with each number of carbon atoms. So in your specific case, you would have to get this data (for instance as .csv), and sum up the respective amounts of short- and medium-chain fatty acids (until 12 carbon atoms in the aliphatic tail) and long-chain fatty acids. Basic spreadsheet software should allow you to do that.

I do not know of any website that does that.

  • That's exciting. Hmm so I was basing my statement on looking through sr27 USDA database. I searched NUTR_DEF.txt for things like "fat", "lipid" and a couple of specific names of fatty acids. However, on closer inspection it looks like individual fatty acids have names like 4:0 and 22:0.
    – Att Righ
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 20:53

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