Frequently Asked Questions
Some answers to the most commonly asked questions If your question and its answer is not listed below, you can e-mail it to email@example.com or through the Idea Forum.
- How can I contact the Open Food Facts team, ask questions or make suggestions?
- Is the information and data on products verified?
- Can I add product pictures or data from the manufacturer's site, shopping sites or other sites?
- I am a food product manufacturer, can I add my own products?
- What is the difference with other web sites, services and mobile applications that already allow to view food products information?
- What is Open Food Facts' economic model
How can I contact the Open Food Facts team, ask questions or make suggestions?
You can ask questions or make suggestions on the Idea Forum or contact us by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is the information and data on products verified?
The information and data is submited by the Open Food Facts contributors. The contributors also send pictures of the product, its labels, ingredients lists and nutrition facts table. When in doubt, visitors can thus check the accuracy by themselves, and if there is an error, they can correct it on the spot.
To detect potential errors more easily, we will progressively add automated checks. e.g. if the nutrition facts of a product are very different from products of the same category, it may be an error. If the nutriments add up to more than 100%, it's definitely an error.
Can I add product pictures or data from the manufacturer's site, shopping sites or other sites?
Almost all other sites forbid reproduction and reuse of their data and images, and that's actually the reason why we are creating Open Food Facts: to make all this data available to all and for all uses.
To avoid any legal problem, we therefore ask contributors to only add pictures that they took themselves, and only data that is coming from the product packaging and label.
I am a food product manufacturer, can I add my own products?
Yes! The only condition is to accept that the data and the pictures be made available under an open licence. (see the Terms of contribution)
If you have a large number of products to add (more than 50), we can try to find a way to automatically add the products and their data. Contact-us to discuss how we could proceed: email@example.com
What is the difference with other web sites, services and mobile applications that already allow to view food products information?
The main difference is for us a critical one: our data is freely available to all and for all uses. It's what is called open data.
Almost all other sites, services and applications forbid others from reproducting and reusing their data. Quite to the contrary, the jealously keep it for themselves. In almost all cases, their terms of service explicitly forbid any non-personal use and any extraction of all the data or parts of the data.
We consider that food products information is too important and useful to keep it locked in a safe. So we decided to do exactly the opposite: not only we allow use and reuse of our database, freely and without fee, to everyone and for all uses (including commercial), but we also encourage it!
Making the data publicly available (what is know as open data) allows individuals, associations, companies, researchers etc. from all around the world to think up and develop applications for the data that we certainly would never have thought about.
What is Open Food Facts' economic model
Contributors are volunteers. Their contributions are gathered in an open database that can be used by everyone and for all uses. (see the Terms of reuse)
Everyone (including but not limited to Open Food Facts contributors and creator) can thus redistribute and/or reuse the data to build web sites, services, software, mobile applications, or to write articles and studies. They are free to make the resulting work freely available, or to sell or monetize it (e.g. with ads), as long as they respect the terms of reuse.
Do you have other questions? Ask them!