Throughout the last 6+ years of running a nutrition analysis company with emphasis on compliance, I have found there to be a huge amount of misinformation surrounding nutrition analysis. I have worked directly with food manufacturers of all sizes and restaurants of all cuisine and each time we talk I hear the same pattern of questions and concerns, such as:
· “I was told I have to use a laboratory”
· “The consultant on the phone said they use the only FDA approved software”
· “We can’t do the nutritional analysis because we’re not a Registered Dietitian or Food Scientist”
Just the other day I was speaking with the FDA about approval processes and why so many companies say they are “FDA approved” when our conversation was cut short by the FDA agent saying: “That’s completely untrue! We have to send out warning letters to companies telling them to stop referring to themselves as FDA approved. The only things we approve are health and disease related claims.”
It really frustrates me when I hear that type of propaganda because I know the truth. I often tell people even if they end up using one of FoodCalc’s analysis products: “there are others ways that you can analyze your food/menu items. You can do any of the following four options”:
1. Laboratory – You make the product, pack it in dry ice and mail it to the facility and wait a few weeks for the results
2. CD Rom – You purchase CD software and install it on one computer with the required system criteria
3. 3rd Party Consultants – You either fax, email or phone in your recipes that have purchased a CD and installed on their computer
4. Web-based Solutions – You create a secured account (like online banking) and enter your ingredients directly into a nutrition analysis database. This is FoodCalc’s process.
Not every option will save you time and money so it’s important to understand what you get for your money. Just because a laboratory is a chemical facility doesn’t mean to chemically analyze; some if not all offer CD Rom based results. I was told once that a restaurant spent around $60,000 using a laboratory and waited months for their nutrition results. I’ve also been told that company’s computer crashed with all their ingredient data installed on the CD and they had back-track years or work to re-analyze their labels.
When it comes to nutrition analysis you want to make sure the company is using current ingredient data, they have a back-up system for your peace of mind, they have expert staff to answer your questions and dispel any dishonesty and most importantly you feel comfortable using them.
Call them…. email them….. Ask questions, after all it’s your recipe!