EFSA’s 5th Science Colloquium was held on 21-22 March 2006 with over 60 participants to discuss the state-of-the-art of scientific approaches being the basis for the development of food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG). It became clear that the 1998 WHO/FAO document is still a good basis. In order to translate nutrient goals into food goals it is necessary to combine recommendations, composition data, intake data and intake patterns. Also epidemiology is highly relevant for the development of FBDG. The outcome of the debate will be used as an input for the development of an EFSA guidance on suitable approaches for the translation of nutrient-based dietary advice into food-based dietary recommendations at national level.