How Nutritional Analysis Works

10-step plan: South Korea releases new nutrition labelling guidelines to  increase food industry compliance

A nutritional analysis is a necessary tool to ensure that companies in the food sector comply with nutritional labeling regulations and large-scale distribution specifications. On the other hand, knowing this information first hand and having it updated must comply with quality systems and new product development.

They will analyze food’s nutritional composition in terms of protein, fat, carbohydrates, sugars, dietary fiber, energy value and fatty acid profile, sodium (salt) content, etc. These analyses are directly related to the nutritional information on the product label as established by the regulations on the consumer’s food information.

In addition to nutritional analysis, several laboratories have a technical department that advises you on correctly declaring your food’s nutritional values on the label and the most relevant labeling requirements for your target markets.

Mandatory food nutrition labeling must include all information in the following order:

  • energy value
  • – fats of which
    • saturated
  • carbohydrates, of which
    • sugars
  • protein
  • salt

Thanks to the wide range of nutritional analysis you can include in the voluntary nutrition labeling information, such as monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, polyols, starch, dietary fiber, and vitamins and minerals in the following order:

  • energy value
  • fats of which
    • saturated
    • monounsaturated
    • polyunsaturated
  • carbohydrates, of which
    • sugars
    • polyols
    • starch
  • dietary fiber
  • proteins
  • salt
  • vitamins and minerals

Remember that according to the FDA’s Nutrition Labeling standards:

  • An updated design to highlight “calories” and “servings,” two essential elements for making well-informed food selection decisions.
  • Updated daily values for nutrients such as sodium, fiber, and vitamin D consistent with Institute of Medicine recommendations and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The daily values are the reference amounts for nutrients to consume or not to exceed and calculate the %DV that manufacturers include on the label.
  • A statement for vitamin D and potassium will consist of the actual amount in grams, plus the %DV. These are nutrients that some people do not get enough of, which increases their risk of chronic disease. The %DV of calcium and iron will remain mandatory, along with their actual amount in grams. Vitamins A and C will no longer be mandatory because their deficiency is rare, but these nutrients can be included voluntarily.
  • “Calories from fat” will be eliminated because research indicates that the type of fat is more important than the amount. “Total fat,” “Saturated fat,” and “Trans fat” will remain mandatory.
  • An abbreviated label footnote to better explain the %DV. 

Make sure that the laboratory where they will perform the nutritional analysis of your product has state-of-the-art equipment to determine the values of all those mandatory and optional measures that the labeling must contain, such as calories, carbohydrates, fat, protein, and fiber content, as well as vitamins and minerals.

If your product is destined for export, remember that the basis for nutrition claims may vary by country depending on the law that applies to them. Make sure that the analysis parameters required by legislation for nutritional analysis are met.