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

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

The first step of this rule requires all ingredients on labels to include allergen information within the ingredients list. Before this regulation, it was legally acceptable to include allergy information in a separate area of your label.

The new regulations require not only highlighting allergens in a single ingredient list for a product but also stating the ingredients in quantitative order.

Quantitative order means that the largest component component should be indicated first, then the second largest, and so on. The percentage of these ingredients should also be included.

There are many ways that highlighting materials can be achieved; Users can use bold text, underline text, color text or italic text

There are 14 allergens that must be indicated on the labeling if they are within the product’s ingredients. This includes wheat or oats or any other grain containing gluten and also includes milk, eggs, fish, crustaceans, molluscs.

Another aspect of the law was to improve the clarity of text on food labels.

Historically, text can be incredibly difficult to read as manufacturers cram as much information as possible into a small section of the label in order to maximize the marketing potential of the rest of the label.

The new rules require that all text be legible in a font smaller than 1.2 millimeters with the specified height of the letter “x”. In layman’s terms, this means the standard Arial or Times New Roman font needs to be 6.5 points and size.

The second phase of the rules, which will take effect this December, will require providing nutrition data with all prepackaged foods so that consumers can make informed choices regarding the nutrition within the foods they purchase.

The law states that this information must be conveyed to the customer per 100 grams.

It is also possible to provide additional information on each serving, for example, which sandwich constitutes a serving so that the food manufacturer can provide information based on the entire sandwich. A food manufacturer may also indicate the nutritional values of a portion, for example, of a biscuit or a small piece of chocolate. But the food manufacturer must also provide the information in a per 100g format in all cases.

**How to calculate nutritional data**

Calculating the nutritional values of pre-packaged foods for sale to public food production businesses requires knowing the nutritional values for the constituent ingredients within their products. Perhaps the best way to show how to calculate nutritional data is to give an example; A ham and mustard sandwich.

A ham and mustard sandwich can have four ingredients; We will have bread, ham, mustard and margarine or butter to make sandwiches. Each of these ingredients will be included in the recipes; That is, each product will have a specific weight to make a standard product.

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

In our example, a food manufacturer can move data from component ingredients to a table. Information to be reported includes energy in both kilojoules and kilocalories; They should also express total fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar, protein, and salt—all in grams.

Food manufacturers can also indicate monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, polyols and starches (which are carbohydrates) and fiber if they choose to do so.

The order of nutrients is specific and must follow the rules.

After the table of data is prepared for all the ingredients per 100 grams, the food producer needs to understand the weight of each product used in the recipe to make the sandwich. In this example, the food producer needs to know the weight of two slices of bread (say 60 grams), the ham he will use (say 30 grams), 10 grams of mustard, 5 grams of margarine.

Once this is done a simple calculation is applied to each component ingredient to determine how many calories, how much fat, saturated fat, etc. are in the recipe. The calculation is to divide the nutrition data per 100 grams by 100 and multiply that by the weight of the ingredient in the ingredient.

For example, if 100 grams of ham is 350 calories, dividing by 100 is 3.5 calories per gram. 3.5 calories per gram x 30 grams used in the recipe is 105 calories.

Once this is completed, the food manufacturer will have an accurate indication of the total nutritional data for the ham and mustard sandwich by adding the values for each ingredient together as a total for the recipe.

And this is how to calculate nutritional data using Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice Calc.

At the moment, food producers across the UK are facing huge challenges in achieving the objectives set out in the regulations and need to address them very quickly if they haven’t already.

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