Friday, January 4, 2013

January 4, Trivia Day
Test Your Nutrient Analysis Skills

Answers below.

Many people believe if they just buy a nutrient analysis program, they can provide an accurate nutrition analysis. This is far from the truth.

Recipes are usually written based on what the consumer needs to purchase. The individual analyzing the recipe must evaluate the recipe based on the actual food ready to eat (unless the food is meant to be eaten whole.)

A nutrient analysis program cannot cook or prepare meals. A person must have skills in Food Science, Culinary Nutrition, Cooking and Preparation Techniques, Purchasing Guides, Yield Factors, and Nutrient Analysis Software.

An essential tool for analysis is the food conversion and equivalent tables. These databases provide information on AP (as purchased), EP (edible portion), waste, marinating, straining, percentage of bones, difference between raw or cooked weight, and comparison of weight versus volume measures. Many nutrient analysis software programs do not provide this information for all items; therefore it must be calculated manually or estimated. 

Most Americans believe one cup is equal to eight ounces; and they would be right if we were referring to a liquid. In selecting the correct measure of a food, it is critical to know whether the food is measured by weight or by volume. Weight measures include grams, ounces, and pounds. Volume measures are listed as teaspoons, tablespoons, fluid ounces, cups, pints, quarts, and gallons. 

Trivia Answers.
1a.  2.75 cups EP
1b.  3-4 medium apples or 113 grams
2.    4 cups all purpose flour
3.    6.5 cups cooked kidney beans 
4.    5 oz lobster meat
5.    4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

If you are looking for a registered dietitian knowledgeable in the science of nutrient calculations and analysis, contact: Dr. Sandra Frank at for a quote. 

Over 25 years experience providing nutrient analysis for the media, publishers, and chefs including the Tribune, Bon App├ętit, Atlanta Constitution, Detroit Free Press, and Fort Worth Star. Author of "Menu Solutions."

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