Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions. If you have another question, please e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 Slack chatroom or contact us by e-mail: email@example.com
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.
Finally, many producers send us photos and data about their products using our Platform for Producers. If you are a producer, please contact us
Can I add product pictures or data from the manufacturer's site, shopping sites or other sites?
Probably not. Almost all other sites forbid reproduction and reuse of their data and images, and that is actually the reason why we have created 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)
We have developped a free platform to let you easily import photos and data about your products, regardless of your size. It will let you import complete and up-to-date data and visuals into Open Food Facts that will be visible in more than 100 other nutritional apps. Additionaly, the platform provides suggestions to improve the Nutri-Score of your products. Contact-us to discuss how we could proceed: firstname.lastname@example.org
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, they 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 when we started the Open Food Facts project and mobile app, back in 2012, 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 known 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 creators) 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.
We are also strictly independent from the food industry, and all the services and software we build are free. For example, our Platform for Producers is totally free, and we are all the more pleased with that because we think it might help them improve their products.