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We calculate nutritional information for you from your product recipes.

We also provide software to enable you to calculate your nutritional information from your recipe ingredients.

FAQs

These frequently asked questions relate to our we do it for you service. Please visit the calculation software pages to see additional FAQs for that service.

What information do I need to provide?

We will need a list of all your ingredients, and how much of each. We will need to know your cooking method and also any weight losses involved, which means we know just how much water your product has lost during cooking or processing. If you throw away any of your product before packaging, for example scum or residue you will need to let us know the amount of that too. See the example template we provide on the web site.

If you have any concerns please just email us at nis@ifr.ac.uk.

Are there instructions on how to fill out the recipe template?

We have provided a sheet explaining the basics of filling in the recipe template. Download template instructions [PDF document]

If you have any concerns please just email us at nis@ifr.ac.uk.

Do I need to provide any other information than just my recipe?

We will use our databases to find the nutritional composition of each of your ingredients before we calculate your product nutritional information, however in the very rare cases of you using an ingredient not included in our database we may get back to you to see if you can provide the details of your supplier so we can find the composition of that ingredient. If that is impossible we may need to do some chemical analysis.

How accurate is the data?

The data is accurate and checked based on the ingredient information you give us. There is always some variation associated with food composition data but Trading Standards and DEFRA (the Government Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) accept that data from McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods can legally be used for producing nutrition labels.

Who is your service for?

Anyone who requires nutrition information may use our service, including small and medium sized food producers and suppliers. We have developed the service to support small businesses.

Is my recipe safe with you?

Yes, absolutely, we promise to never share your recipe and ingredients with anyone else. Our terms and conditions include our confidentiality undertaking.

Can you provide other nutrient composition information?

Our service includes the seven compulsory nutrition elements and additional four voluntary nutrition label elements (starch, fibre, monounsaturates, polyunsaturates). If you require information on vitamins and minerals, these can also be calculated for reasonable costs.

What nutrition information is required by the regulations?

You will need values for energy (kcal and kJ), fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, sugars, protein and salt. We will provide you with this information with our calculation service.

Can I have access to the food composition database?

We use authoritative sources of composition data, including McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods. The McCance and Widdowson data can be downloaded free from the UK Government’s website. However, please note that we use many other databases and industry information to provide accurate data for your recipes.

In order to calculate nutritional labels, carbohydrate, protein and energy values must be recalculated for labelling purposes and information on that can be found on p18-20 of the McCance and Widdowson User guide.

I produce milk and creams, do I need a nutritional calculation?

For milk it is possible to use the generic data for milks given in the dataset providing that you know you are producing ‘standard’ milk with fat contents close to the average. If you already have information on the specific fat content of your products you could use those values and use the generic values for other components. The carbohydrate, protein and energy values must be calculated slightly differently for labelling purposes and information on that can be found on p18-20 of the McCance and Widdowson User guide.

Is there any difference in nutrition labelling for organic and non-organic produce?

In our McCance and Widdowson dataset there is no distinction made between organic and non-organic foods.

I produce dried herbs and spices, do I need to provide nutrition information?

There are exemptions from the declaration which include:
A herb, a spice or mixtures thereof’ and also
unprocessed products that comprise a single ingredient or category of ingredients’.
Please contact us and we can help with your declaration.

What if I produce a food stuff that is used as an ingredient in a recipe within the home?

It is possible to calculate your nutritional information based on the product itself and also the product as it would be included when made into a recipe. The regulations state that ‘Where appropriate, the information may, in addition and/or instead and where appropriate, relate to the food after preparation, under the condition that:

a) Sufficiently detailed preparation instructions are given
b) The information relates to the food as prepared for consumption.

What if calculation is not possible?

It is possible that your ingredients and preparation methods mean that nutrient content based on calculation from ingredients is not appropriate and then direct laboratory analysis would be necessary. In the unlikely event we can’t calculate your nutritional information, we will inform you and advise you accordingly.

Can you help me with allergen information?

Currently our service is for nutrition labelling only. There is a guide downloadable from the Food Standards Agency website which will help you with allergen information required.

Can you help me with health claims and “portions of fruit in this product”?

No, sorry, currently our service is for nutrition labelling only