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## How to Calculate Nutrition Data Using Excel or Open Office Calc

EU Directive 1169/2011 will enter into full force on 13 December 2016. The first phase of this directive entered into force on 13 December 2014, but the second phase requires nutritional data, which raises the question of how to calculate nutritional data.

The first phase of this regulation required that all ingredients on labels must include information about allergens in the list of ingredients. Prior to this regulation, it was legally acceptable to include allergen information in a separate area of the label.

The new regulations simply require allergens to be highlighted in the list of individual ingredients in the product, but the ingredients must also be listed in quantitative order.

Quantitative order simply means listing the largest ingredient first, then the second largest, and so on. The percentages of these ingredients should also be included.

There are several ways to highlight ingredients; Users can use bold, underlined text, colored text, or italics

There are 14 allergens that must be listed on the label if they are present in the product’s ingredients. These include wheat or oats or other grains containing gluten, as well as milk, eggs, fish, shellfish and molluscs.

Another aspect of the legislation was the harmonization of the readability of text on food labels.

Historically, text could be incredibly difficult to read as manufacturers crammed as much information as possible into the smallest part of the label to maximize the marketing potential of the rest of the label.

The new regulations require that all text must be legible and that the height of the letter x must be at least 1.2 millimeters. Conventionally, this means that the standard Arial or Times New Roman font should be 6.5 point and size.

The second phase of the regulations, which will come into effect this December, will require nutritional information to be provided with all prepackaged foods so that consumers can make choices about the nutrition of the food they buy.

The law requires this information to be provided to the customer per 100 grams.

It is also possible to provide additional information per portion, so that, for example, a sandwich would constitute a portion, so that the food manufacturer can provide information based on the entire sandwich. The food manufacturer can also state the nutritional value of a portion, such as a cookie or a small chocolate bar. However, the food manufacturer must also provide the information per 100 grams in any case.

**How to calculate nutrition facts**

To calculate the nutritional value of packaged food sold to the public, food companies need to know the nutritional value of the ingredients in their product. Perhaps the best way to demonstrate how to calculate nutritional data is to give an example; ham and mustard sandwich.

A ham and mustard sandwich can consist of four ingredients; we have bread, ham, mustard and margarine or butter to make a sandwich. All these ingredients are added according to the recipe; that is, each product has a specific gravity to form a standard product.

Food manufacturers need to start with basic nutrition information for each ingredient – as mentioned, the legislation requires nutrition information per 100 grams. Since all manufacturers are required to do this, most food manufacturing companies should be able to obtain this information directly from the packaging of the products they purchase or by talking to the supplier.

In our example, a food manufacturer could include ingredient data in a table. The information to be transmitted includes energy in kilojoules as well as kilocalories; they must also report total fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar, protein, and salt—all in grams.

Food manufacturers may also list monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, polyols and starches (which are carbohydrates) and fiber if they wish.

The order of the nutrients is specific and must be followed to comply with the regulations.

Once the data table is compiled per 100 grams of all ingredients, the food manufacturer needs to understand the weight of each product used in the recipe to make the sandwich. For this example, the food manufacturer would need to know the weight of two slices of bread (say 60 grams), the ham to be used (eg 30 grams), 10 grams of mustard and 5 grams of margarine.

Once this is done, a simple calculation is done for each ingredient to determine how many calories, how much fat, saturated fat, etc. are in the recipe. When calculated, the nutritional information for 100 grams is divided by 100, then multiplied by the weight of the ingredient in the ingredient.

E.g. If 100g of ham contains 350 calories, dividing by 100 is 3.5 calories per gram. The 3.5 calories per gram x 30 grams used in the recipe is 105 calories.

Once this is completed, the food manufacturer can get an accurate view of the nutritional information of a ham and mustard sandwich by simply adding up the values of each ingredient in the recipe.

And so you can calculate nutritional data using Microsoft Excel or Open Office Calc.

Food manufacturers across the UK currently face a huge challenge in meeting the targets set out in the regulations and need to address them very quickly if they have not already done so.

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