Contents of Commodity Fact Sheets

Each Fact sheet contains the following sections:

Web-Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM) Material Description and Number

  • Includes WBSCM number for all available versions/packaging of the commodity

General Information

  • Brief description of commodity and its component ingredients;
  • Some Fact Sheets include multiple food items with similar production methods, nutritional profiles, and/or programming recommendations (e.g. beans, dehydrated potato products, Emergency Food Products, soy and whey protein ingredients, and wheat flour);
  • Information about production in the United States

o Includes link to commodity industry group for further information

  • Product packaging and storage considerations

o For further information, refer to the link to the USDA Commodity Requirements Documents (CRD) or USDA Commercial Item Description (CID) provided on the Fact Sheet.

Programming Guidance

  • Based on FAQR decision trees, each Fact Sheet describes whether and how the commodity may be used in:

Emergency settings:
o First and second phase general food distribution to households
o Targeted rations with nutritional purposes;
o Food for Assets, Food for Education, Food for Training, Vulnerable Group Feeding, and Food for Work programs in longer-term emergencies

Development programs:
o Targeted and household rations in programs with an explicit nutritional purpose, including prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition and prevention of chronic malnutrition/1000 days approach;
o Food for Assets, Food for Education, Food for Training, Vulnerable Group Feeding, and Food for Work programs


  • Where and how the food item is commonly consumed
  • Nutritional information

o Includes a brief description of key nutrients and nutritional benefits provided by the food item

  • Preparation Information

o Includes link to food aid recipes using the commodity if available
o Note: additional recipes using food aid commodities may be available through implementing partners - local organizations, private voluntary organizations (PVOs), and WFP

  • Basic cooking instructions (Coming Soon)

Nutritional Content

  • The USDA maintains a National Nutrient Database of over 7,900 basic and processed foods commonly available in the United States. If available in the database, a link to the entry for the product is provided.
  • Many of the processed products listed in the CRG are not available in the National Nutrient Database. For example, there are no entries for fortified blended foods or soy-fortified food aid products. For these products, nutrient tables showing the final nutrient profile for 100 grams of product have been created using intrinsic values of the basic foods and ingredients available in the USDA National Nutrient Database, the target premix values from the Commodity Requirements Documents (CRD) or Commercial Item Description (CID) specifications (e.g., for EFPs, RUTF, and micronutrient premixes specified for fortified blended foods and milled cereals), and complemented with missing data provided by industry, if needed.
  • Please note that the CRDs list the micronutrient premix target requirements, while the Fact Sheets list the typical nutritional value including the premix and intrinsic nutrients. The nutritional values vary due to intrinsic differences between the grains, flours and blended food components. The levels presented in each table are targets and there will be minor differences due to variations in the intrinsic values typical of the commodities used to prepare each food product.
  • The micronutrient premix is standard for the following milled flours: bulgur, soy fortified bulgur, cornmeal, soy fortified cornmeal, soy fortified sorghum grits, and wheat flour. Corn soy blend and wheat soy blend have slightly different premix specifications.

USDA Commodity Requirements Document

  • Commodity Requirements Documents (CRD) are a set of official USDA documents detailing the requirements for commodities available for use in FFP programs. They contain information on commodity specifications, container, packaging and markings requirements. In some cases they refer to Commercial Item Descriptions (CID) which are another set of products specifications prepared and used by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for certain commercially-available products.

Shelf Life/Best if Used By Date (BUBD)

  • Shelf Life is the average length of time a food product may be stored under its recommended storage conditions and still be fit for its intended use and acceptable to the consumer. All food products deteriorate over time, and generally speaking, their rate of deterioration increases at higher temperature and humidity. Maintaining the integrity of a product’s packaging and ensuring that the product is held under the best possible environmental conditions can significantly extend the actual shelf life of the product. 
  • Best if Used By Dates signifies the end of the period under any stated storage conditions during which the product will remain fully marketable and will retain any specific qualities for which tacit or express claims have been made. It should be noted that, beyond that date, the food may still be perfectly satisfactory. Please see the Approved for BUBDs list in Section 3 of the Commodity Reference Guide for details on which commodities and countries BUBDs are available. If there is any question as to whether a product may be no longer fit for intended use (regardless of BUBD), the awardee (partner) shall immediately notify the Agreement Officer Representative (AOR) and request approval for the commodity to by inspected by a public health official or other competent authority approved by USAID or the Diplomatic Post to determine if it is fit for its intended use and provide a budget on how much the testing will cost. After receiving approval from the AOR to have the commodities tested the awardee shall share the results with the AOR who will determine if the commodities can be used as intended or if disposition is necessary.

Last updated: October 24, 2012

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