Whether you have a restaurant needing menu analysis or a food manufacturer requiring the analysis of your products, the first step in food nutritional analysis is standardizing your recipes. The process for nutrient analysis of foods is quite simple, but may require some fine tuning of your recipes and formulas to get the job done right. The accuracy of food nutritional analysis depends on your recipes being standardized. At On The Menu, we’re here to help you get the job done.
Defining your recipes to exact standards
Your first step is to define your recipes to exact standards. This means each ingredient should be listed with a measurement. Except with liquids, it’s preferable to give a weight measurement. For example, rather than 1 cup of pecans, you’ll get better nutritional analysis results giving the weight of 4.5 ounces of pecans. With liquid ingredients, such as water or oil, a volume measurement is fine. We often receive recipes calling for a “pinch” of salt. We’ll need to know what a “pinch” means to you, such as ¼ of a teaspoon or 2 grams. If you’re unsure of the weights of your ingredients, we can take volume measurements.
Accurate Ingredient Description
In addition to precise measurements, we need the preparation or description of each ingredient. Providing extra clarification assures that no assumptions are made and you’ll get the best food nutritional analysis. The following are a few examples of information that you may want to include in your recipe. Please indicate whether the ingredient is raw or cooked. If you use butter, we’ll need to know if it’s salted or unsalted. On meats provide the cut, whether it’s bone-in or bone-out, skinless, percent fat, etc. A description of raw vegetables should indicate whether the weight is before trimming or after. If we’re unsure about the ingredient and its preparation, we’ll be sure to ask so that we may provide you with a meticulous nutritional analysis.
We’re often asked if it’s necessary to provide recipe instructions along with ingredients. In many cases it is helpful. Understanding the method of preparation can be important in the nutrient analysis of foods. It’s best to include that information in your recipe.
Servings Per Recipe
Finally, we’ll need to know the total servings per recipe (based on your standard serving size) and/or the recipe yield. For example, a cookie recipe yields 40 2-ounce cookies. In order to take a moisture loss, which again is necessary information for an accurate food nutritional analysis, we need the weight before and after baking. Going with the cookie example, the raw cookie weighs 2-ounces and 1.8-ounces baked. With this information, we know to take a ten percent moisture loss.
Completing Food Nutritional Analysis
Our job at On The Menu is to provide the most accurate nutrient analysis of foods. If you’re unsure whether your recipes are complete, please contact On The Menu to set-up a free review. We are committed to delighting our customers by delivering quality products and services with integrity. We look forward to hearing from you.