FoodOn and LanguaL

FoodOn is not quite an exact replication of LanguaL into the OWL ontology format because of some different capabilities OWL has. (Details on LanguaL’s design are here ).

  • There are a number of cases where LanguaL has “[facet X] not used” and “[facet X term] not known” terms, e.g. “Packing medium not used”. In FoodOn we don’t mention a facet if it isn’t relevant, so we have deprecated all such “not used” and “not known” terms. If a facet term is relevant, we use it; if it isn’t known whether or not a food can be described by a particular facet term, but we know the parent category is pertinent, we just reference the parent category. So, when describing a food we wouldn’t say “Cut of meat not known”; instead we’d say “Cut of meat”. This enables a reasoner to know that the entity being described is a cut of meat, which allows that some subclass of cut of meat is pertinent (or some other cut of meat not listed).
  • LanguaL used Facet B “food source” to indicate the primary ingredient of any indexed food, and facet H “treatment applied > ingredient added” to indicate secondary ingredients. OWL ontologies have the luxury of using object properties to describe primary and secondary ingredients, and so we have added “has ingredient” and “has substance added” relations to do this. Consequently we have deprecated most of LanguaL’s “ingredient added” items (they exist in the langual_deprecated_import.owl mentioned below).
  • We have preserved a number of LanguaL’s regulation-oriented content percentage food added items in FoodOn. However, a food product’s “has substance added” relations could potentially be annotated with a percentage % or proportion, which brings composite foods closer to a recipe or product label level of description. Note that FoodOn, like LanguaL, does not yet tackle recipe description. This will require a larger food processing vocabulary.
  • An OWL include file called “langual_deprecated_import.owl” exists of all old LanguaL deprecated terms that one might use to convert terms to their new FoodOn equivalents.
  • Most of LanguaL’s food additives list items have been converted to their CHEBI equivalents.