Organic Vs Non-Organic Food Products’ Nutritional Differences
Sometimes we’re asked by clients why, in NutriCalc®, they can’t find the organic equivalent for the fruit and vegetable ingredients they’re using, believing that the organic versions’ carbohydrates, proteins and fats (macronutrients) potentially have superior nutritional values.
We understand why clients ask this, as it is a commonly held perception – especially amongst consumers – that organic produce is more nutritious.
For those clients wondering the same thing, we’ll explain why.
There are a few good reasons for this:
1. Currently, there’s no official data for organic ingredients at all. We base our main ingredient data on McCance & Widdowson 7th edition aka Food Standards Agency or CoFids, which is considered to be the industry-standard ingredient information used throughout the UK and which has been widely used for 75 years.
2. There have been very few reliable studies into the nutritional difference between organic and non-organic produce.
3. Where there has been reliable research, conducted by reputable sources, in proper controlled conditions, these have all been inconclusive.
4. The differences suggested by any study has been within the general 20% margin for error for nutrition labelling.
5. Where there are differences, it appears to be mainly micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are affected.
6. Micro-nutrients are not required for food labelling unless you’re making a claim, in which case, you are advised to check the levels of the nutrient at the end of a shelf-life trial with a lab test.
At NutriCalc, we keep our finger on the pulse of any changes to all official ingredient datafiles and the release of additional new data so that in the event of any implementation of organic produce data, we will be updating our files poste-haste.
What this means in real terms is that we advise you to use the official data we offer within the software as this will be close enough unless you intend to make a product claim.
Please do continue using organic produce though, as it’s kind to the planet 😊