Information on plant foods in eBASIS: what is in a correct botanical scientific name?

Kirsten Pilegaard, Folmer Damsted Eriksen, Marten Sørensen, Jørn Gry

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper presents the plant information included in the eBASIS (BioActive Substances in Foods Information System) database on composition and biological activity of selected bioactive compounds from European plant/mushroom foods with putative beneficial and/or toxic effects. The European Food Information Resource (EuroFIR)-NETTOX Plant List (2007) presents scientific and vernacular names in 15 European languages for around 325 major European plant/mushroom foods and also for different parts of these foods. This list and its predecessor, the NETTOX List of Food Plants, have been used by national food authorities and within the European Union for consideration of plants and mushrooms that have been used to a significant degree up to 1997 and are therefore not covered by the novel food regulation (European Parliament and Council of the European Union, 1997). The species and the plant part studied are insufficiently characterised in many scientific papers. This paper informs about the naming of plants and mushrooms as an aid for scientists who are not botanists or mycologists themselves. Knowledge on scientific names used, including synonyms, may also be important for finding all relevant papers when searching the literature. In many cases, vernacular/trivial names in, for example, English do not uniquely identify the species. Finally, recommendations are given to assist researchers and reviewers of papers dealing with botanical/mycological information.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Pages (from-to)S108-S111
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • mushroom
  • plant
  • scientific name
  • bioactives
  • taxonomy
  • database


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