To describe the strengths, limitations and requirements of using EPIC-Soft software (the software developed to conduct 24-h dietary recalls in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study) in pan-European food consumption surveys, and to discuss potentials and barriers for a harmonized pan-European food consumption survey.
The paper is based on the experiences in the ‘European Food Consumption and Validation’ Project, which included updating six existing and preparing one new country-specific EPIC-Soft version, applying EPIC-Soft in validation and feasibility studies, and estimating the intake of nutrients and flavoring substances. The experiences were discussed in the September 2009 workshop ‘Pan-European Food Consumption Surveys—for Standardized and Comparable Transnational Data Collection’.
EPIC-Soft is suitable for detailed and standardized food consumption data collection in pan-European food consumption surveys. A thorough preparation of all aspects of the food consumption survey is important for the quality and efficiency during data collection and processing. The preparation and data-handling phase of working with EPIC-Soft is labor intensive and requires trained, motivated and qualified personnel.
Given the suitability of EPIC-Soft as standardized dietary assessment tool in European dietary monitoring, the proposed strategy toward a pan-European food consumption survey is to prepare well, to allow flexibility in national extensions and to start with a limited number of countries that are interested
- 24-hour diet recall
- plasma carotenoids
- level correlations
- nutrient intake