Frequently Asked Questions

What does the site licence and the cost cover?
You may load 'Nutrients' onto as many computers as you wish within the original purchasing institution.   No VAT needs to be added to the quoted price.

What is the source of the food data?
The food data is drawn from McCance and Widdowson’s 'The Composition of Foods Integrated Dataset 2015’ (CoFID) published in March 2015 by Public Health England (PHE).

Why does the database not contain certain foods?
From the foods available in CoFID 2015 dataset the authors have selected a range of foods that are considered most appropriate for use with young people.  PHE has a rolling program of food analysis.  As further useful data becomes available it will be included in future versions of 'Nutrients'.

Why do some foods in the lists have an ‘*’ symbol next to them?
In some foods the amount of a nutrient is given as zero because there is no reliable information as to the quantity present. In such cases the symbol ‘*’ appears alongside the food name on the print outs and the contribution this nutrient is likely to make to a recipe or to the whole diet is low or negligible.

How are the values of fibre calculated?
'Nutrients' uses Englyst values for Non-starch polysaccharide (NSP).

How are the values of Vitamin 'A' calculated?
Vitamin 'A' figures have been obtained from McCance and Widdowson’s retinol equivalent which is derived from an analysis of retinol and carotene.

I entered 100g of peppermint and it was analyed to have 105g of Sugar.  Why?
This is due to the way in which nutritional content is determined.  The explanation contained in 'The Composition of Foods' by McCance & Widdowson is "Carbohydrate values expressed as monosaccharide equivalents can exceed 100 grams per 100 grams of food because on hydrolysis 100 grams of a disaccharide such as sucrose gives 105 grams monosaccharide (glucose and fructose)".

What is the source of information for the 'Portion Sizes'?
The portion size information was gathered from information on food packets, by weighing portions of food and by using information given in 'The Composition of Foods' to calculate edible portions.  As portion sizes vary considerably, this information should be used for guidance only.  Pupils should be encouraged to weigh foods and to think about the appetite of the person they are considering.

Why are some of the numbers inconsistent?
'Nutrients' carries out calculations before rounding and as a result some calculations may appear to be incorrect.  Increasing the number of decimal places on the Excel spreadsheets will reveal the raw data.
Rounding of data and the number of significant figures on the food labels is carried out in accordance with 'Technical Guidance on Nutritional Labelling' published by the Department of Health 2013.

What is the difference between Nutrient Reference Values and Reference Intakes?
The terms NRV (Nutrient Reference Value) and RI (Reference Intake) come from the latest EU directive on food labelling and replace to the 'Guideline Daily Amounts' that were used on food packaging.  RI is used for the macronutrients while NRV is used for vitamins and minerals.  These terms apply to the ‘average’ adult; although figures for children may become available.

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