"LanguaL stands for "Langua aLimentaria” or “language of food". It is an automated method for describing, capturing and retrieving data about food. The work on LanguaL was started in the late 1970’s by the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an ongoing co-operative effort of specialists in food technology, information science and nutrition. The original name of the thesaurus was Factored Food Vocabulary (FFV).
Since then, LanguaL has been developed in collaboration with the US National Cancer Institute (NCI), and, more recently, its European partners, notably in France, Denmark, Switzerland and Hungary. Since 1996, the European LanguaL Technical Committee has administered the thesaurus.The thesaurus provides a standardised language for describing foods, specifically for classifying food products for information retrieval.
LanguaL is based on the concept that:
• Any food (or food product) can be systematically described by a combination of characteristics
• These characteristics can be categorised into viewpoints and coded for computer processing
• The resulting viewpoint/characteristic codes can be used to retrieve data about the food from
As constructed, LanguaL is a multilingual thesaural system using facetted classification. Each food is described by a set of standard, controlled terms chosen from facets characteristic of the nutritional and/or hygienic quality of a food, as for example the biological origin, the methods of cooking and conservation, and ..."