Yet Another Free Chemistry Database: FooDB

FooDB contains over 1,900 structures used as food additives in the United States. The data in FooDB are provided by the FDA EAFUS site. You can search by CAS number, IUPAC name, or molecular formula. And in what is likely to be a trend to watch closely, FooDB is powered by the Web application framework Ruby on Rails.

FooDB is not alone: the number of free chemistry databases on the Web just keeps growing. How this trend ultimately plays out is anybody's guess.

One thing is clear: the point is rapidly approaching at which database aggregation technologies will start to matter. No chemist wants to search through over thirty databases to find the information they need on a molecule. They want it delivered in one quick, intuitive, user-friendly package. Here's another example of something that's broken in cheminformatics. Like all broken things, it's the source of great frustration for users and great opportunity for developers.