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Five a Day Calculations

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Five-a-Day calculations are a useful feature for subscribers to the NutriCalc Online Premium Plan.

Five-a-Day is a UK healthy eating initiative, encouraging people to eat five portions of fruit and/or vegetables each day. A portion is usually taken to be one apple, a handful of cherries, one glass of fruit juice etc.

Some processed products contain several fruits and/or vegetables and, although there may not be enough of any single one to constitute a Five-a-Day portion, the sum of all of them can constitute a good contribution to the intake of fruit and vegetables.

NutriCalc calculates Five-a-Day portion sizes in line with industry guidelines. These guidelines give Five-a-Day portion sizes for fruits and vegetables, juices and concentrates.

In addition, they also lay down maximum levels for saturates, sugars and salt in a serving size. If the limit for saturates, sugars and/or salt per serving is exceeded, then no Five-a-Day claim may be made.

There are rules regarding how many portions may be stated on labels and how to deal with excess portions.

Only one portion of a specific fruit or vegetable may be included in the calculation. So, if the serving seems to provide 1.35 portions of tomato, the extra 0.35 cannot be included.

Beans may only contribute one portion, irrespective of type. Potato does not count, although sweet potato does.

A portion of a normal raw fruit or vegetable is 80g. For a juice, the portion is 150g. But if you have a concentrate or dried ingredient, the portion size is reduced.

We are frequently asked if glace cherries count as a fruit for Five-Day. The answer is no, because glace cherries bear little resemblance to raw cherries; A large amount of sugar has been added and nearly all the fibre and vitamins have been removed.

Five-a-day claims may give a very useful commercial advantage. Some foods can give impressive Five-a-Day results. An example is a soup containing a lot of vegetables and a good portion size.

NutriCalc enables you tag an ingredient as a fruit or vegetable, enter (or calculate) a Five-a-Day portion size for it. Then, in the Five-a-Day report, it calculates the number of Five-a-Day portions eaten when eating a single serving of the product.

It also tests the values for fat, saturates, sugars and salt to ensure that the recipe complies with the rules. If it does not, no value for the number of Five-a-Day portions for that serving is given.

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