Eurocode 2 Discussion Note N007

Version 99/2 main revisions and outstanding questions

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ContentsIntroductionComments by:29 Feb 00
Overview of Core Classification, version 99/2
Major revisions in Main Groups
Request for comments and suggestions


The revisions to the Eurocode 2 food coding system to produce Core Classification, version 99/2 have now been completed for all Main groups. Many of these revisions result from discussions on Eurocode 2 during a workshop held by the COST Action 99 - Eurofoods working group on food description in December 1999. This discussion note summarises the main changes and records the main points which need further discussion. Further comments on the changes, and particularly on the outstanding points, are very welcome.

Overview of Core Classification, version 99/2

The version 99/1 and 99/2 revisions of the initial Core Classification proposals (version 98/1) have worked to the guidelines: The placement of subgroups in main groups remains a major source of the outstanding points, for example whether fruit juices should be classified as fruit products or beverages. However two distinct elements of the Eurocode classification are developing, the detailed categorisation still referred to as Eurocode 2 and the system of simplified aggregation groups that form the Euro Food Groups (EFG) proposal. This duality allows more flexibility in associating any particular category with a higher-level grouping category.

Some of the changes based on feedback from the December workshop have allowed a more structured approach to be applied to category definition in some areas, thus raising the possibility that some codes can be constructed if and when required from predefined subcodes. This increases the number of categories available for recording detailed information without requiring each category to be explicitly included in the classification listing. It also provides additional capabilities for aggregating categories separately from the basic classification. Standard subcodes have been proposed for:

The proposals include some use of the reserved numbers in the ranges 00 to 09 and 80 to 99 both to maintain the structure (as in Chicken egg white) and as a special marker (as for the .82 in .82.85 in a Fruit vegetable-based product).


Major revisions in Main Groups

[Eurocode 2 Main Groups]
The following paragraphs note some of the main changes made in the version 99/2 proposals and point out some aspects which require further consideration. Generally the changes represent modifications to version 99/1 but some may refer back to the Core Classification version 98/1 or the Eurocode 2 version 93/1 classification.

Main Group 1: Milk and milk products:  Feedback indicated that the version 99/1 classified milk products by species at too high a level and that fat content should be given precedence. A discussion note has now been produced on the Classification of milk and cheese and any further comments on this are still welcome. The Chocolate-flavoured milk, Fruit-flavoured milk, Dried milk and Acidophilus milk categories have been added. The question has been raised of whether the categories Water ice, Granita and Sorbet should be moved out of the Milk and milk products group as they are more like sugar-based sweets or desserts.

Main Group 2: Egg and egg products:  The group has been completely revised so that the species is specified at a consistent level, removing the separate treatment of Chicken eggs and the separate subgroup for Eggs, wild birds. The primary categorisation is by the egg-producing species, with the next level available for more detailed subdivision, for example by duck species, if ever required. At the next lower level, eggs can be coded as whole, white or yolk, using standard codes analogous to the milk source species codes, for example for Chicken egg white. Subgroups have been added for Egg products and Egg dishes.

Main Group 3: Meat and meat products:  Following on from the version 99/1 separation of carcass meats and offal, a category Blood and offal products has been added to the Meat products subgroup, together with a category for Minced meat products. This includes Sausage meat, limiting the use of the Sausage categories to encased or shaped sausages. An additional offal category of Intestines has been included. Further input on a suitable subdivision of the Restructured meat and meat analogues subgroup would be welcome. The extra subgroup Meat dishes has been added as a basis for discussion. Aspects for consideration include whether there is a useful distinction between Meat products and Meat dishes, and the basis for deciding whether a cereal/meat mixed dish such as Meat pie should be classified as a meat dish or a cereal dish. An alternative approach would be to create one or more extra main groups for mixed dishes.

Main Group 4: Fish and fish products:  No changes have been made to the Fish group classification during the version 99/2 revisions. There remain strong arguments for and against defining the fish subgroups on taxonomy rather than on more subjective grouping categories such as Oily fish. Possibly the solution lies in an implementation which allows the species categories to be associated with alternative grouping categories. In any reorganisation of the Main Groups, consideration should be given to renaming this group Fish, crustaceans, molluscs and amphibians (with molluscs to include land snails) and deciding the appropriate main group for marine mammals, reptiles, insects, etc.

Main Group 5: Fats and oils:  The only change made to the Fats and oils group classification during the version 99/2 revisions was the removal of Cod liver oil to the Vitamin / mineral products / tonics subgroup in the Products for special nutritional use main group.

Main Group 6: Grains and grain products:  The version 99/1 Barley categories have been removed from Basic products of other cereals into a separate subgroup in version 99/2. Various renaming and reorganisation of the bakery goods categories has been applied. The Soft bread subgroup has been renamed Leavened bread and within it the category Potato bread has been added and the word 'flour' substituted for 'grain' in Bread, other flour and Bread, mixed flour to cover the possible use of Substitute flours and starches. A subgroup for Bread products has been added. The version 99/1 categories for Savoury cereal products and Sweet cereal products have been replaced by Fine bakery wares, Savoury cereal dishes and Sweet puddings. Some categories such as Sponge cake have been generalised and given sub-categories for more specific food items.

Main Group 7: Pulses, seeds, kernels, nuts and products:  In version 99/2, categories for unripe pulses which are consumed as vegetables have been moved to the Pod and seed vegetables subgroup of the Vegetables and vegetable products main group. The corresponding categories remaining in the Pulses group have had 'Dried' added to their name.

Main Group 8: Vegetables and vegetable products:  In version 99/2, the Pods and seed-head vegetables subgroup has been renamed Pods and seed vegetables and categories such as Peas and Broad beans added. Avocado and Olive have been moved from the Fruits and fruit products main group and added to the Fruit vegetables subgroup.

Main Group 9: Fruits and fruit products:  As noted above, Avocado and Olive have been moved to the Vegetables and vegetable products main group. Some changes have been made to reduce the number of categories within each subgroup. It has been suggested that Malaceous fruit is a rather obscure name for the first subgroup, but no better alternative has yet been identified. There remains some doubt whether the separation of fruit sauces in the Fruit main group and jams in the Sugars main group is the best option.

Main Group 10: Sugar, sugar products, chocolate products and confectionery:  No changes have been made to the Sugars group classification during the version 99/2 revisions.

Main Group 11: Beverages (non-milk):  In version 99/2, the Alcoholic long drinks subgroup has been divided into Beers and malt beverages and Ciders, perries and similar drinks. Within the latter, the existing category Ginger beer, alcoholic has been renamed Ginger beer, and the separate version 99/1 category 11.40.36 Ginger beer has been removed. This brings the classification into line with the policy of categorising alcoholic and non-alcoholic forms together.

Main Group 12: Miscellaneous, soups, sauces, snacks and products:  In version 99/2, categories in the Prepared salads subgroup have been renamed to incorporate the word 'Prepared', and the category Prepared mayonnaise salad has been added. Subgroups for Dips and Sandwich fillings has been added, with the version 99/1 Dressings and dips category being renamed Dressings. Standard subcodes have been proposed for the main ingredient in products in the Dips, Savoury sauces, Dessert sauces, Soups, Prepared salads, Sandwich fillings and Savoury snacks subgroups. However the existing categories in these subgroups have been left in place until comments on the proposal have been received.

Main Group 13: Products for special nutritional use:  In version 99/2 Cod liver oil was placed in the Vitamin / mineral products / tonics subgroup, moved from the Fats and oils main group. The coding of baby foods needs to be discussed further, possibly with some foods being removed from other groups such as Rusks from Grains and grain products.

Request for comments and suggestions

Please submit your comments and suggestions on the Eurocode 2 version 99/2 proposals or these and other policy issues using the project feedback form by the closing date of 29 February 2000.



Ian Unwin
Posted:  10 February 2000