Finding the Correct Ingredient Name

MasterCook imported the ingredients and nutrients from the USDA FoodData Central databases. The USDA branded food database is comprised of ingredients and nutrients submitted to the USDA by the food corporations. If you do not see an ingredient in the list of over 333,000 ingredients, then the food corporation hasn’t submitted their data to the USDA yet.

Recipes call for ingredients by a variety of names. The USDA does not have every ingredient or multiple variations. However, you can easily create synonyms or add your own ingredients within the Ingredient List in MasterCook. Or, you can use the Save As button to create a copy of an ingredient with a different name. See the instructions below.

In order to assist you in locating a similar ingredient, we have provided a text file of the ingredient names used in MasterCook. See the attached .txt file below. Download the file to your computer. Use it to search for an ingredient by its name to see where it is in the list.


The older versions of MasterCook have about 9,000+ ingredient names from a 1990's version of the USDA Standard Reference database. It is very old.


There are over 16,000 ingredient names in MasterCook 2020. They are from the USDA Standard Reference Legacy database. The USDA last updated this database in 2019. As stated on their website, they are no longer updating this database. It is final and complete.


There are over 333,000 ingredient names in MasterCook 22. It is a combination of the final USDA Standard Reference Legacy database as well as the Branded Foods database (Oct 2021 release). The USDA states they are only updating the Branded Foods database going forward. Food manufacturers provide their nutrient data to the USDA.

Additionally, MasterCook 2020 and 22 have more than 3.5 times the number of nutrients than any previous version of MasterCook, including sugar and phosphorus for those who need to watch those levels of nutrients because they have diabetes or kidney disease. It took a great deal of effort to rewrite several parts of the program to work with all of those new nutrients.


You can either link your unknown ingredients in a recipe to one in MasterCook's internal database or you can create a synonym of an existing ingredient in the Ingredient List in the program. The program's Help explains how to do these things. It has a Search tab too. Just search for link or synonym to find those instructions. Go to the Help menu in MasterCook. Select Help Contents to access the program's help. If the window doesn't appear, just restart MasterCook try again.

This article explains how you can add your own ingredients:

If you add or edit the Ingredient List, you will want to make sure you regularly backup the MC file that's inside the MC Tools folder on your computer. It contains all of your edits.



The USDA has never had Dijon mustard in its legacy database since there are so many variations of it based on brand name instead.

Obviously different regions have different stores and brands. So, you and I are not likely to shop at the same store. Each store has their own brand, and their nutrients can vary greatly. Some brands add sugar, for example, which will greatly affect calories and other nutrients.

Therefore, download the MC22IngNames.txt file that is linked at the end of this article. Locate your brand in the list, such as 365 EVERYDAY VALUE ORGANIC DIJON MUSTARD. Then simply create a synonym for that ingredient, such as Dijon mustard, or use the Save As button.




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