Scanning nutrition labels before purchasing or consuming a food or beverage product has become ubiquitous in today’s health and allergen-conscious climate, but how many people ever give a thought to the myriad ways nutrition content is gleaned? There are two methods employed to generate nutrition fact labels: They are either database software analysis or laboratory analysis.
Typically, most foods can be analyzed for their nutrition content by recipe database analysis. Database analysis follows basic chemical principles of entering the specific quantity of each ingredient for a recipe. The software then calculates the nutrient values based on a serving size. However, certain foods are unable to be analyzed by this method and would require food nutritional analysis, which takes place in a lab. Some of the foods that are ineligible for database analysis include the following: the increasingly-popular fermented Kombucha tea, which is an ancient, exotic brew touted for its many supposed health benefits; trendy kale chips; as well as familiar staples such as jerky products, pickled vegetables and deep fried foods. This is because it is incredibly challenging, if not impossible, to calculate the nutrient values of these items due to the complex processing of either oil or marinade absorbed, as well as to discern dehydration, or moisture loss from brine exchange; therefore, only laboratory analysis can accurately determine the nutrient values.
While, database analysis has the advantage of an expedient assessment; lab nutrition testing is incredibly precise and is often a necessity. Due to lack of public awareness of this industry, there are many misconceptions about laboratory analysis. For instance, there is no one food analyzer which can perform multiple nutrient testing procedures. Therefore, a wide-range of diverse food testing instruments is required.
Lab testing for vino, I’ll drink to that!
Perhaps the most salient industry that heavily utilizes beverage analyzers is the wine industry. Acidity is one of the main components of the age-old elixir that oenophiles often cite in their evocative critiques and florid descriptions which can be located on the back of wine bottles and in trade magazines. Acids imbue the Bacchic beverage with their characteristic crisp, subtly tangy taste. Acidity varies widely in wine and greatly influences the taste. It is said that acid can make or break a wine; therefore, it is imperative that winemakers comprehend the roles of the various acids, their occurrence in common bases for making wines, their tastes, their sufficiency, how to measure them, and the principles for adjusting acids when necessary.
Food analyzers serve a vital, often overlooked, role to test for safety, nutritional value, taste and other factors that contribute to the health, well-being and quality of life for our loved ones every day of our lives. Click here to see Koehler Instrument Company’s line of food analyzers and to find out more about how they can serve to fulfill your unique needs and serve your specific application.