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In Development Last updated: December 9, 2022
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Food APIs integrate with automated systems to enable sharing of food recipes, order food online, plan a nutritional meal, and more.

Since nutrition and food are the elemental part of your life, eating mindfully is vital for your health. 

This is why you can see a lot of websites and applications around food and diet to help people eat healthily.

Preparing food, shopping for ingredients, and having your meal have changed dramatically over the past few years with digital transformation. 

Businesses are creating automated systems to help people create and share recipes and order food and ingredients online.

And food APIs are useful for third-party developers to integrate the automated systems with their sites and applications without having to build the functionality from scratch.

Let’s understand what these APIs are and the best food APIs in the market.

What are APIs?

An Application Programming Interface (API) is an interface or mediator that allows software products and services to interact and utilize each other’s functionality and data.

This enables companies to share their app’s data with business partners, third-party developers, and internal organizational departments.

Using APIs simplifies the work for developers since they don’t necessarily need to know the way APIs are implemented. Instead, they only use the interface for communicating products and services and leverage the functionality.

Food APIs

Food APIs are interfaces that developers can use to build applications for nutritionists, chefs, foodies, and farmers. 

There are plenty of food APIs available that provide data about nutrition, nutrients, food, restaurants, food labels and barcodes, organics, special diets, spirits, food remedies, recipes, grocery markets, allergens, farming, agriculture, and more.

How do APIs work?

APIs refer to a set of rules explaining how applications or services interact with each other. They sit between a web server and an application, working as intermediaries to enable data transfer. 

An API works in simple steps:

API call: The process starts with a client application making a call or request to retrieve information. This request gets processed from the app to the server through the APIs URI or Uniform Resource Identifier. It includes headers along with a request verb and body.

Once the API receives a valid request, it makes a call to a web server or an external program. 

Server response: After receiving the request, the server sends the requested information to the API as a response.

Data transfer: Once the response reaches the API, it starts transferring information to the application making the original request. 

This way, an application can communicate data with a server or external application via an API. 

APIs are built to be used by computers, applications, or services. Don’t confuse them with the user interface, which is developed for use by human users. 

Furthermore, APIs are secure by design since they work as intermediaries that enable functionality abstraction between two applications or services. The API endpoint separates the app making the request from the service’s infrastructure sending the information. This decoupling between the services reduces security risks. 

In addition, API calls include authorization to further prevent risks on the server, while API gateways can restrict access to lower security incidences.

Use cases of Food APIs

APIs are crucial for the food industry. From ordering food online and checking restaurant menus to getting nutrition charts from hospitals, food APIs help enhance customer experience. 

Here are some of the use cases of food APIs:

  • Recipe analysis: It is used to analyze recipes and check ingredients containing common allergens, like wheat, eggs, dairy, nuts, soy, etc. You can also determine the category of recipes such as vegetarian, vegan, paleo, etc.
  • Nutritional information: Food APIs can be used to calculate nutritional information automatically for recipes. This helps people create meal plans or individual recipes to achieve their dietary goals.
  • Labeling: Food APIs are used for deriving meal nutritional values for labeling on food products. 
  • Checking calorie counts: You can embed an API in your site or application to check calorie counts in a meal/recipe. It will help users understand their calorie intake and shape their diets accordingly.
  • Recipe management: You can easily include recipe search to a site or application. It will help your customers create and manage recipes. 
  • Meal planning: Users can plan their meals to meet their dietary requirements for the entire week. In addition, they can also create a shopping list based on meal planning quickly.
  • Grocery shopping: Food APIs can also help users shop for groceries that they would require to prepare the planned meal. They can prepare the list and order ingredients online from a grocery store. 
  • Online food delivery: Food APIs can be integrated to enable customers order food online from a restaurant. They can also check a restaurant’s menu list and order what they like.

Other use cases of a food API can be:

  • finding recipes that users can prepare with ingredients available at their homes
  • preparing meals based on their unique nutritional requirements
  • creating food jokes or trivia
  • adding a chatbot
  • extracting recipes from other websites, and more.

So, if you are thinking of doing any of that or have anything in your mind that will require a food API, we have listed some of the best food API solutions for you.


Get the best recipe database and nutrition analysis APIs for your groceries and foods with apilayer. It partners with Edamam to help you find grocery and food entities, and attach quantities whenever available. 

Edamam gives you access to a grocery and food database with around 900,000 basic restaurant items, consumer-packed foods, and basic foods. You can filter the food based on your diet and health with the help of this food API. 

Every food database comes with nutrition, allergy, and diet labeling as per the calculation by Edamam according to the food’s ingredients. You can claim what you need from the database, such as peanut-free, gluten-free, shellfish-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

Whether it is a basic food or a food database, Edamam returns a total of 28 nutrients data, including protein, sodium, cholesterol, fats, calories, carbohydrates, and more. In addition, you can search for food by the food name, barcode, keyword, etc. 

Get the API now at $19/month for 200 food searches every minute, 200 barcode searches every minute, and 200 autocomplete requests every minute. 

Spoonacular API

Spoonacular API offers the food API you will ever need. Their expert engineers have crafted complex food ontology that allows understanding relations between recipes, ingredients, allergens, nutrition, and more.

You will get more than 2600 ingredients that give price data, health information, conversions, mapping to products, cooking tips, nutrition data, and more. With over 5000 recipes, you will get cost breakdown, related recipes, semantic search, wine pairings, shoppable content, nutrition analysis, etc.

Similarly, it contains more than 90k products along with nutrition data, descriptions, product search, nutrition visualization, ingredient analysis, and more. Coming to menu items, it provides more than 800 American restaurant chains, images, menu search, descriptions, and more.

Whether it is recipe analysis, shoppable recipes, meal planning, recipe management, or other demands, Spoonacular API is at the top in providing unique solutions. It can convert your food-related vision into reality. 


Experience exercise and nutrition API application with Nutritionix. Get more than 20m API calls every month and over 92% UPC match rate along with 2000 active applications. 

Use Nutritionix’s state-of-the-art natural language functionality to turn your words into a precise nutrition analysis. Its dietitian team started with the USDA database and boosted it. In addition, the Nutritionix team introduces more than a thousand international recipes and foods. 

The registered dieticians help verify API and data procedures to ensure you will get the most feasible solution for your application. Nutritionix consists of a large database for branded food along with more than 799k grocery foods and 184k restaurant foods. 

Furthermore, it has a database of around 209,882 restaurant geolocations that helps you find a nearby restaurant with available nutrition data. Just send your latitude and longitude coordinates to the API and receive the return gift. Users will also love its ultrafast autocomplete search.

Get Nutritionix for free for two active userspace, a barcode scanning option, and a natural language engine. Pay for the starter pack of $299/month for more functionality.

Nutritics API

Nutritics offers a food and nutrition database API to power your application, website, and program. Nutritics API provides access to more than 800,000 food recipes, nutrition, and other related data from national and international branded food databases. 

Add new value to the business by using its unique calculation engine with less effort and investment. Search a vast international food database via the SmartSearch system and easily retrieve a product, recipe, food allergen, and nutrition information. 

Nutritics API allows you to analyze recipes and food diaries from your application or platform. You can also synchronize data, including recipes, patient data, or supplier inventory from/to your account.

Moreover, Nutritics API can generate meal plans easily and quickly and automates some of the processes to provide instant results. You can also get real-time data on food and nutrition and generate effective food labels.

Start your free trial today without any contract and credit card. The price varies according to your edition, including sports, health, food service, manufacturer, supplier, university, and more.


Create CFIA and FDA-compliant nutrition fact labels, inventory management, and recipe costing with ReciPal. It allows you to store all your recipes in the cloud securely. 

Search from the ReciPal database or create your own ingredients effortlessly. You can define recipes as small or big batches and modify the number of ingredients whenever you want. You will also find a wide range of label styles to choose from.

YouTube video

Customize the feel, nutrients display, and look with a flexible labeling option and save the label and print it if needed. You can even input your packaging and ingredient costs to understand the cost breakdown quickly and make fast pricing decisions. 

Update your inventory levels automatically for easy traceability and lot tracking. Get production reports in your absence and allow the ingredient lists to be set in descending weight orders automatically.

Build a recipe with ReciPal or try the sample label. 

FatSecret Platform API

Get one of the best nutrition and food databases in the world with FatSecret Platform API that over 25000 developers across 70 countries utilize. You will find access to around 1 million verified items covering branded or manufactured products, restaurant items, and generic foods.

FatSecret API keeps all the data up-to-date by running the updates daily. Interestingly, its barcode or UPC hit rate is more than 90%. You can get full access to a database of accurate nutrition and food information along with weight and exercise management tools. 

If you are looking for the best service possible for your corporations, FatSecret Platform API is the key to advanced features. It offers the highest search capability, attribution, tracking of weight and exercise diaries, meal builder, nutritional analysis capability, and more.

Browse the JavaScript API or REST API documentation, register your FatSecret Platform API account to receive the API key, and find resources, including code libraries, tools, etc. 

Start your journey with the FatSecret Platform API by signing up for free to get 5000 API calls/day and limited features. Or, contact experts to get your custom edition according to our business needs. 

LogMeal API

Whenever you eat an item and find it really interesting, do you seek the ingredients and recipes for that item?

If so, you must try LogMeal API, which can give you detailed information regarding the nutrients just after uploading a food’s picture.

YouTube video

You will get the most advanced API with Deep Learning and AI in the world for food recognition, tracking, and detection. The API is available in various languages, such as English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Turkish, and Catalan.

LogMeal API offers services like semantic tagging, such as dish, food group, ingredient recognition, and nutritional information analysis. In addition, it can detect food type and food group, recognize a single dish among several dishes, give ingredients information and nutritional information. 

Integrate LogMeal API into your application and start your journey to get a tailor-made AI solution. Try LogMeal API for free for 30days or 200 queries. You can find the free web demo based on several services available inside the API. 


Chompthis provides a nutrition and food database API with high-quality data on more than 875,000 branded foods, raw ingredients, and grocery products in the United States and other countries. 

You can use Chompthis’ database search to get the data. It provides you with 700,000 unique UPCs or Barcodes, over 30,000 ingredient foods, 34000 generic foods, diet labels, and a lot more. It also provides storage, data caching, commercial use, and attribution. 

Furthermore, Chompthis updates all the data regularly to offer high accuracy and takes pride in providing raw food data, branded food, and grocery data. Get detailed information on the food, such as brand, portions, allergens, keywords, minerals, vitamins, categories, ingredients, measurements, and more.

The developers build Chompthis API for the developers that follow OpenAPI specifications. Get the limited edition for free. Only pay for the request fee, i.e., $0.01/request. Start your free trial of 5-days on the paid editions starting from $25/month.

BigOven API

Add more than one million grocery and recipe lists to your websites or applications in minutes with BigOven API, which is also called Kitchen Cloud Platform.

Get recipes with an easy search option and build lists for your grocery and recipes. BigOven API gives third-party websites access to food-related data and grocery shopping lists. Its easy-to-use interface makes you learn its use quickly within minutes. 

You can add recipes, images, reviews, food glossaries, search results, and more to your applications or websites. Additionally, you will find a wide range of recipe libraries along with constant updates for an affordable cost. 

Moreover, BigOven API is a built-in RestAPI, which delivers the data in XML or JSON format to your clients to reduce complexity and make your job more interesting. 

Get BigOven API to enhance your application with the recipes and nutrients lists at just $99/month, which includes support, editorial design and development, and more. With the basic plan, you will get up to 500 requests/hour.


TheMealDB is an open and crowdsourced database of various recipes from across the world. It offers JSON API for everyone who wants to use their application or website features. 

You find the best quality transparent PNG ingredients and options for meal image upload, brose meals, categories, and areas. It has 283 meals, 574 ingredients, and 283 images to date. 

Get the latest meal options, such as chivito uruguayo, walnut roll guzvara, traditional Croatian goulash, mushroom soup with buckwheat, and more. Also, ingredients like salmon, pork, chicken, and random meals like steak diane, keleya zaara, salmon eggs, eggs benedict add value to your websites. 

Get API for free and ask for extra features if you want at just $2. You can add your own meals, recipes, ingredients, and images. With the option of multiple ingredient filters, it will be easier to search for the recipe. You can also cancel your subscription any time you want.


Make your recipes applications smarter by managing perfect ingredients with Zestful data. Its ingredient parser API converts your boring recipe strings to structured and beautiful JSON data. 

Get meaningful data for every recipe in your applications in easy-to-understand JSON format. With Zestful, you can easily make your items searchable, build lists for shopping, and create ingredient databases. 

Zestful gives you the freedom from unnecessary terms, such as unlimited data retention, zero attribution requirement, and no restrictions on resale.

Try Zestful parser API for free and get 30 ingredient parsers every day. It costs as low as $0.02/ingredient for businesses with priority phone and email support. 

Conclusion 🥗

Food APIs can integrate food-related automated services and systems with other applications to enable functionality like ordering food online, shopping for ingredients, preparing a meal plan, sharing recipes, and more.

Thus, choose the best food API according to your requirement and use it on your application or site.

  • Durga Prasad Acharya
    Durga Prasad Acharya is a Freelance Technical Writer who loves writing on emerging technologies, such as AI & ML, Cybersecurity, Web Hosting, SaaS, Cloud Computing, and more. Besides writing, he’s a web designer and is passionate about… read more
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