Community Food System Data Tables


Map showing location of Dalit

This field study was carried out in the region of Zaheerabad (or Zahirabad) in the Medak District, of the State of Andhra Pradesh in South East India (Figure 1). The culture of interest in this area was the Dalit, who represent approximately 18% of the 2 269 800 people living in the Medak District.

This section of the report provides information on 229 foods consumed by the Dalit in Zaheerabad. Nutrient information was obtained from various sources including laboratory analyses by ANGR Agricultural University, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, India (1), Nutritive Value of Indian Foods 2002/1980 (2), the National Institute of Nutrition-UCF project (2001-2004) of the Deccan Development Society (DDS) - a local NGO (3), and CARE-Program, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (4).

All other information was gathered through focus group discussions and individual interviews carried out within the community. The interdisciplinary research team working on this project consisted of the following:

Team member


Role & responsibility

Groups of women farmers

Deccan Development Society (DDS)

Local leadership indigenous community

Dr Ravi Prasada Rao

Assistant Professor

Department of Botany, Krishna Deveraya University, Ananthapur, Andhra Pradesh

Herbarium Scientist

P. V. Satheesh



Deccan Development Society

Food culture Anthropologist specialist

Salome Yesudas

Senior Nutritionist

Deccan Development Society

Food and dietary database specialist

Dr S. Bapu Rao

Head, Analytical Chemistry Department

National Institute of Nutrition – ICMR Hyderabad

Food analyses specialist

Martina Schmid

McGill University

Food and dietary database specialist

Chinna Narsamma, Iaxmamma, Mogulamma, Panthakala, Srinivas,

Peter Kuhnlein and Lisa Kuhnlein

Community Medical Center, DDS, Pastapur,

Kuhnlein Productions

Photo documentation

A. Nagaraj


Computer Assistance

Dr Harriet V Kuhnlein

CINE, McGill University

Project Leader


Notes on food groups


Users should be aware that the data presented here do not represent absolute values. The purpose of this publication is to present a true reflection of the usual composition of foods as available and/or consumed among Dalit community members. This is a living document and nutrient information will be added and or updated when available.

The Taxonomic classification of the foods was done by a Herbarium Scientist working at Krishna Deveraya University. The foods were divided into 10 groups:

  1. Animal Foods
  2. Drinks
  3. Grains
  4. Fruits
  5. Pulses
  6. Spices
  7. Roots, Tubers and Other Vegetables
  8. Leafy Vegetables
  9. Nuts and Oilseeds
  10. Miscellaneous Foods

Notes on food components

There are approximately 20 to 22 components in the main body of the tables, which are presented in a fixed format for each record. The order of presentation is based on major nutrient categories.

The information on the analytical details for majority of the components and conversion factors for some nutrients can be obtained from the referenced literature.

Most of the total carotene and beta carotene values are sourced from the “Nutritive Value of Indian Foods” (2). However, some of the data for these components are obtained from other sources and are appropriately referenced in the tables.

Vitamin A values are reported in both Vitamin A retinol equivalents (RE-µg) and in Vitamin A retinol activity equivalents (RAE-µg). These values are calculated and reported only for foods where beta carotene and total carotene values are available. Vitamin A RAE values are reported for compatibility with the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) recommendations.




  1. Rajyalakshmi, P., Venkatalaxmi, K., Venkatalakhshmamma, K., Jyothsna, Y., Balachandramani Devi., Suneetha, V., 2001. Total carotene and beta-carotene contents of forest leafy vegetables consumed by tribal of South India. Plant food for Human Nutrition 56, 225-238.

  2. Gopalan, G., Rama Sastri, B.V., Balasubramanian S.C., 2002. Nutritive value of Indian Foods. National Institute of Nutrition. Indian Council of Medical Research. Hydrabad-500 007. India.

  3. Nutritive value from NIN analysis, UCF project. 2002 -2003.

  4. CARE-Program, Hydrabad, Andhra Pradesh

  5. Puwastien, P., Burlingame, B., Raroengwichit, M., Sungpuag, P., 2000. ASEAN Food Composition Tables. Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University (INMU), Thailand.

  6. Bhaskarachary, K., Sankar Rao, D. S., Deosthale, Y.G., Reddy, V., 1995. Carotene content of some common and less familiar foods of plant origin. Food Chemistry 54, 189–193.

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