When Does Using A Combination Of Analysis And Calculated Results Make Sense?

Food manufacturers can obtain nutrition information for their products using either chemical analysis or by calculation using NutriCalc.
As discussed in our paper ‘NutriCalc vs Analysis’, there are strengths and limitations for both methods.

However, what is often overlooked is the option to use a combination of both. Here are some examples where the combined approach works well:

  • If the product is deep-fried, it is not possible to obtain accurate nutrition values using NutriCalc alone, because it will not be possible to get an accurate value for the oil update and moisture loss during cooking. However, if the lab supplies a fat content and a moisture content, these figures may be applied to a NutriCalc calculation. Please contact NutriCalc for information on how to apply these values.
  • If you have decided to have a product analysed in the lab and it is known to contain very little fat (eg 0 – 0.2%), as would be the case for example, for a product such as strawberry jam, it is pointless to spend money on a comparatively expensive analysis for fat breakdown. Much better to use NutriCalc to get the values for saturates etc., as they cannot possibly be more than 0.2%.

  • If you wish to use NutriCalc to obtain your nutrition information, but you are making a nutrition claim such as low fat or low salt, you might decide to have the fat or salt analysed and use calculation for the rest.
  • Similarly, if you manufacture a product stated to be low carbohydrate, and you wish to have it analysed in the lab, you should nevertheless use a NutriCalc value for obtaining the carbohydrate value since the precision of carbohydrate values obtained in the lab is not good enough. This is because, to obtain carbohydrate, the lab uses calculations, subtracting moisture, protein, fat, fibre and ash from 100%, and therefore, small inaccuracies for each of these often does add up to a large error.


Dr. David Bartley, NutriCalc Ltd

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