A brief summary or description of the essential content from the source document.


Broader Term

Broader terms are found in the FSTA Thesaurus. They are known to be wider in scope. For example, "electrical properties" is the broader term for electrical conductivity, electrical resistance, and other narrower terms.

If a term has broader terms, they will appear as broader terms. For example:

FLAVONOLS (Thesaurus Term)
     ALCOHOLS (Broader Term)
     FLAVONOIDS  (Broader Term)

This tells us that ALCOHOLS is a more general term for FLAVONOLS. When searching the FSTA database, you might want to use ALCOHOLS rather than FLAVONOLS to get a wider search and more results. If ALCOHOLS has narrower terms, then those tersm are shown as part of the entry for ALCOHOLS.



Descriptors are thesaurus terms that are currently used in indexing Food Science and Technology Abstracts records. They are used to search the Headings and Keywords fields within a record.


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI®) is a system for permanently identifying and exchanging intellectual property in the digital environment.

Example: DOI: 10.1134/S1061920808010020

See for more information.

DOI® is a registered trademark of the International DOI Foundation.

A DOI number can be associated with an article, a book, a book chapter, a data study document, and other document types.


FSTA Section

There are 20 FSTA sections in the FSTA index. They are basically broader terms (wider in scope than narrower terms). For example, Additives, spices and condiments is an FSTA Section. Under it falls the FSTA Subsections.

Note that the name of the FSTA Section is taken from the uppercase letter of the Accession Number.

Did You Know ... Records under Section U (Standards, laws and regulations) and V (Patents) are available from 1969 to 1991. Keep this in mind when searching for patent records under these two sections.


FSTA Subsection

There are 130 subsections among the 20 FSTA sections. They are basically narrower terms that fall under a particular FSTA section. For example, the following FSTA Subsections fall under the FSTA Section called Additives, spices and condiments:

  • Additives
  • Condiments and Sauces
  • General Aspects
  • Patents
  • Spices and essential oils
  • Standards and legislation

Note that the name of the FSTA Subsection is taken from the lowercase letter of the Accession Number.

FSTA Subsections came into use in 1999. Keep this in mind when searching for records by subsection.


FSTA Thesaurus

The FSTA Thesaurus is a search aid that contains approximately 9,000 terms. It features a hierarchical structure for simple searching that classifies terms as broader terms, narrower terms, and related terms.


History Note

History notes are found in the FSTA Thesaurus. They generally provide a history of the use of a thesaurus term in FSTA indexing. That is, the period of time used as a heading. For example, the history note for Chocolate Products reads: "heading from vol. 25 (1993); under Chocolate up to vol. 24 (1992)."



Items in a library collection. For example, a library's online catalog would show whether the source publication is held in the library's collection.


Intellectual Property

Refers to creations of the mind such as inventions, trademarks, literary and artistic works, symbols, images, architectural designs, and so forth. Patents are one way of protecting intellectual property; copyrights and trademarks are other ways of protecting intellectual property.



The International Standard Book Number is a unique identifier that identifies a work's national, geographic, or language, along with the publisher, title, edition, and volume number. The format is a 10-digit number that contains 3 hyphens (-). The last digit is a check character, which may be a number or X. The position of the hyphens can vary for each ISBN. Example: 2-7380-1000-8



The International Standard Serial Number is a unique number that identifies the source publication. The format is four numbers, a hyphen (-), three numbers, and then a check character that may be a number or X. Example: 0002-9262



Keywords are thesaurus terms used by the International Food Information Service (IFIS) to index a record. They are listed in the FSTA Thesaurus. When entered in the Descriptors field, thesaurus terms are used to search the Headings and Keywords fields within a record. See also descriptor.

Some terms that appear in the Keywords field in the Full Record may not appear in the FSTA Thesaurus. These terms are searchable from the Topic field.


Marked List

A list of records that you marked from either the Results page or the Full Record page. Once you add records to the Marked List, you can later print, save, e-mail, order, or export some or all of those records. You have the option to select records from the Total Records table to output or you can select records from a specific product database.


Narrower Term

Narrower terms are found in the FSTA Thesaurus. They are generally terms that are more focused in scope. For example, "electrical conductivity" is one of several narrower terms for "electrical properties", which is a broader term.

A term such as "fluorescence" may include broader terms, narrower terms, and related terms.



Non-descriptors are terms that were used in the past but are no longer used for indexing in the FSTA Thesaurus. Each non-descriptor has one or more USE clauses that specifies which term should now be used. For example, conductivity is a non-descriptor. If you search on conductivity in the thesaurus, the product displays electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and specific conductivity as the appropriate terms to use in your search query.

Generally, non-descriptors appear in the FSTA Thesaurus in mixed case while descriptors are in all uppercase. However, there are some uppercase non-descriptors. Therefore, to distinguish the two types: If there is a USE clause, the entry is a non-descriptor; otherwise it is a term

Representation of Greek letters

Terms may contain:

  • <ALPHA>
  • <BETA>
  • <GAMMA>
  • <DELTA>
  • <KAPPA>
  • <OMEGA>

to represent a Greek letter.

Note that non-descriptors might have lower case versions of these letters, as in:





A patent is a document that defines the rights conferred by law to an inventor of a published specification. The inventor has the exclusive right to make use of and exploit the invention for a limited period of time. A patent must be obtained in each country where patent protection is sought.

Did You Know ... Patents are a form of intellectual property protection. They should not be confused with trademarks, servicemarks, and copyrighted material, which are other forms of protection of intellectual property.


Patent Assignee

The individual(s) or corporate body to whom all or limited rights of a patent are legally transferred.


Patent Number

A patent number is a unique identifier of a patent that is assigned to each patent document by the patent-issuing authority. It includes a two-character country code identifying the publishing authority, followed by a serial number (up to 10 characters). Example: US 6569107


Related Term

Related terms are found in the FSTA Thesaurus. They are generally thesaurus terms that do not fall within the direct hierarchy of another term. They are usually less general and precise than other thesaurus terms, but they may be added to a search query.


Scope Note

Scope notes are found in the FSTA Thesaurus. They generally indicate the meaning of a term or its particular use. They are also used to indicate Enzyme Commission (EC) numbers for enzymes and to display lists of terms synonymous with a particular term in question.


Search Aid

Search aids are tools that allow you to select predefined names, terms, or codes and automatically add them with the appropriate syntax to a search query. Search aids allow you to quickly and easily achieve consistent search results.


Set Combination

A set combination consists of two or more set numbers that you can run as a unique search query. For example, #1 AND #3 combines the results of set 1 and set 3 to form a single query. Set numbers appear under the Set column in the Search History table.

You can also enter a single set number alone to refresh the results of a previous search. In this instance, you may also want to change the timespan, languages, document types, literature types, and Taxa Notes.


Source Document

An article, patent, book, or other work represented by a record in the product database. May also be referred to as "source publication" or "source record".


Thesaurus Term

Thesaurus terms are controlled terms (or keywords) that are used by the International Food Information Service (IFIS) to index records. A thesaurus term can be a single word or several words. For example, fermented cream is a thesaurus term. When entered in the Descriptors field, thesaurus terms are used to search the Headings and Keywords fields within a record.


Used For

Used For terms are found in the FSTA Thesaurus page. They generally indicate non-descriptors (that is, non-preferred terms) for which the descriptor (the preferred thesaurus term) should be used.



USE terms are found in the FSTA Thesaurus. They generally indicate which descriptor (that is, thesaurus term) to use instead of the non-descriptor in question.