The limited resources available for chemical analyses of components of interest in food has forced scientists to bor row data from published food composition works of other countries. Due to language barriers, this is often undertaken without due knowledge of the background and the instruc tions for use. This collection of introductions, translated in to English, of frequently cited, published food tables has been compiled with the assistance and cooperation of many collaborators throughout the world. We hope that the result will facilitate a more appropriate and extensive use of foreign food tables for scientific purposes. Lenore Arab Marion Wittler Gotthard Schettler Introduction The following is a compilation of the introductory material included in the most recent edition of 19 of the published food composition tables of 14 European countries. In most cases these translations were graciously provided by the pro ducers of the tables or native-speaking people working closely with the information concerned. Recognition of the authors is given on each of the title pages. The title page also includes full publication details of the various tables and summary information on the number of foods contained in the latest edition as well as the number of food components within the tables. It should be noted that a complete list of components is not always given for each food, either because the component is not present, or data is not avail able.