IFOW 2021 Integrated Food Ontology Workshop, September 15-18, Bolzano Italy

The 2nd Integrated Food Ontology Workshop (IFOW) is a hybrid virtual and on-site workshop held at the 12th International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies September 15-18, 2021 (ICBO, https://icbo2021.inf.unibz.it/) in Bolzano Italy (part of the overall Joint Ontology Workshops JOWO event, see https://www.iaoa.org/jowo/2021/). This follows the successful 1st IFOW workshop last year – see its abstracts and presentations here.

In-person registration for ICBO 2021 is Sold Out, but FREE ONLINE attendance is still possible.

Here is the direct ZOOM link:


A Discord invite for conference discussions: https://discord.gg/He8PcRZu

Other BOSK event info is at: https://summerofknowledge.inf.unibz.it/browse-events-2021/


Controlled vocabulary standardization efforts covering agricultural and food domains are evolving since their inception decades ago thanks to the mandates and continued support of institutional caretakers. Popular examples are FoodEx2, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) food classification and description system, the Global Language of Business GS1 product categorization scheme, the EUROFIR promoted LanguaL food composition thesaurus, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s AGROVOC SKOS-based vocabulary, and its support of the International Network of Food Data Systems (INFOODS) vocabulary for food nutrition testing. These vocabularies are used in a growing interconnected food database landscape but suffer from format issues like textual or spreadsheet formats, unresolvable identifiers, and inconsistent category semantics. 

Ontologies are new entrants into the food domain, bringing a wave of Semantic Web technology and philosophy to bear on the issue of data sharing and modeling of food-related activity and research which are becoming critical in the face of rapid change to our environment and anthroposphere. Examples range from BBC’s Food Ontology, driving its culinary media universe, to recent research laboratory initiated ontologies like OBOFoundry members FoodOn, the Food Biomarker Ontology (FOBI), the Ontology for Nutritional Studies (ONS), the Ontology for Nutritional Epidemiology (ONE), the Food Interactions with Drugs Evidence Ontology(FIDEO), and the Crop Dietary Nutrition Ontology (CDNO). Underpinning these mid-level, model-focused ontologies are environmental, chemical, biological, anatomical, disease and phenotype ontologies. 

Academic, agricultural and public health agencies are considering the benefits and complexities of adopting ontology in their research and data management and reporting infrastructure. How can ontologies interface to legacy datasets and online databases described by existing vocabularies? What vocabulary, tool ecosystem and data models are needed to correlate agricultural treatments, nutritional data, eating patterns, biomarkers, pathogens, and phytochemical levels with disease and health phenotypes? Encouraged by the success of the inaugural 2020 IFOW workshop, this second round in 2021 will explore the evolution of food-related ontologies as they integrate ecological, agricultural, nutritional, dietary, public health, one health surveillance, food security, and trade domain vocabulary, and the use of curation, validation, mapping and visualization tools for food ontology maintenance.


The following presentation and discussion session themes try to capture the diversity of human food system activity:

Sept 15th

Food Ontology Design

Chaired by Robert Warren
3pm – 5:30pm CEST

OBO Foundry Food Ontology Interconnectivity
Damion Dooley, Liliana Andrés-Hernández, Georgeta Bordea, Leigh Carmody, Duccio Cavalieri, Lauren Chan, Pol Castellano-Escuder, Carl Lachat, Fleur Mougin, Francesco Vitali, Chen Yang, Magalie Weber, Matthew Lange
Streamlining FoodOn Seafood Nomenclature using a Semi-automated ROBOT Template-driven ApproachAnoosha Sehar, Damion Dooley, Amanda Windsor, William Hsiao
Food Process Ontology RequirementsDamion Dooley, Magalie Weber, Liliana Ibanescu, Matthew Lange, Lauren Chan, Larisa Soldatova, Hande K McGinty, Chen Yang, William Hsiao
From philosophy to ontology: rethinking food conceptsAndrea Borghini, Nicola Piras, Beatrice Serini

Sept 18th

Agricultural Applications

Chaired by Hande Küçük McGinty
9:00am – 11:00am CEST

A semantic data model for a FAIR digital repository of heterogeneous agricultural digital objectsHercules Panoutsopoulos, Christopher Brewster, Spyros Fountas
Crop Planning and Production Process Ontology (C3PO), a new model to assist diversified crop productionBaptiste Darnala, Florence Amardeilh, Catherine Roussey, Clément Jonquet
The Compositional Dietary Nutrition Ontology (CDNO)Liliana Andrés-Hernández, Kai Blumberg, Damion Dooley, Ramil Mauleon, Graham J. King

Diet and Nutrition Ontology

Chaired by Matthew Lange
11:30am – 1:30pm CEST

Semantics of fermented dairy foods: a microbiologist’s perspectiveFrancesco Vitali, Agnese Gori, Paola Zinno, Emily Schifano, Carlotta De
Filippo, Chiara Devirgiliis, Duccio Cavalieri
ONS modelling of diet concepts: further development required by the objective definition of “western diet”Ana Reis-Costa, Francesco Vitali, Agnese Gori, Giovanni Bacci, Carlotta De Filippo, Duccio Cavalieri
Introducing WikiFCD: Many Food Composition Tables in a Single Knowledge BaseKatherine Thornton, Kenneth Seals-Nutt, Mika Matsuzaki
Poster presentation: Constructing a knowledge graph for food health claimsRemzi Çelebi, Ilse van Lier, Alie de Boer, Michel Dumontier

Food Monitoring and Production Applications

Chaired by Damion Dooley
3:00pm – 4:30pm CEST

One Health Enteric Package v1.0: Expanded and Standardized Metadata for Enteric Genomic Epidemiology in the U.S.Maria Balkey, Ruth Timme, Christopher Grim, Michael Batz, Jessica Hicks, Kimberly Cook, Jo Anne Van Kessel, Jim Bono, Beth Harris, Lee S. Katz, Jennifer Adams, Steven Stroika, Lavin Joseph, Eleanor Click, Mike Feldgarden, Martin Shumway, John Anderson, Heather Tate, Martin Gordon, Yesha Shrestha, Amy Merrill, Sarah M. Nemser, Olgica Ceric, Sarah Peloquin, Karen Jinneman, Paul Morin, Jeoffrey Levine
Refinement of the COHESIVE Information System towards a unified ontology of food terms for the public health organizationsIolanda Mangone, Nicolas Radomski, Adriano Di Pasquale, Andrea Santurbano, Paolo Calistri, Cesare Cammà, Kitty Maassen
An ontology-based pipeline to support the design of technical itineraries: application to composite food packagingMélanie MUNCH, Patrice Buche, Cristina Manfredotti, Liliana Ibanescu

IFOW 2021 Organizing Committee

Lauren ChanOregon State University
Damion DooleyCentre for Infectious Disease Genomics and One Health, Simon Fraser University
Gurinder Pal GosalCentre for Infectious Disease Genomics and One Health, Simon Fraser University
Robert WarrenMyra Analytics 
Jessica SingerMyra Analytics
Hande Kucuk McGintyOU / USDA
Duccio CavalieriUniversity of Florence
Larisa SoldatovaGoldsmiths, University of London
Chen YangUniversity of Gent