Not all online nutrition analysis software is created equal. I hear from a lot of food manufacturers who struggle with analyzing their recipes because the databases they are using don’t have the ingredients they need. This was one of the things, actually, that inspired me to create a function on LabelCalc that allows people to add their own proprietary ingredients. That way, if you can’t find an ingredient you need in the database, you can easily add your own and include it in your nutritional analysis.
I still get a lot of questions about how exactly this function works, because to some it seems too good to be true. So, I am going to walk you through proprietary ingredient nutritional analysis and how it is done here at LabelCalc so you can get a good sense of how to use this function easily and efficiently.
An Introduction to Proprietary Ingredient Nutritional Analysis
I’ve talked about the different nutritional assessment methods before so you may know how big a fan I am of database analysis. Not only is it incredibly accurate, but it is also affordable, easy, and quick to use. It can, however, have its drawbacks. Sometimes, for instance, databases may not have the ingredients you need in order to perform your analysis, even though they can have thousands of pre-analyzed ingredients.
The LabelCalc database, for instance, has approximately 20,000 pre-analyzed ingredients. That’s a lot compared to other databases, but it still may not contain every ingredient you have in your recipe. For instance, you may have a custom made or custom blended ingredient in your recipe that obviously isn’t in the database. Or, you may get a special ingredient from your supplier that isn’t there either. In any case, you still need to be able to enter it as part of your recipe so your FDA nutrition facts panel is accurate.
This is where proprietary ingredient nutritional analysis comes in. This feature, which is part of LabelCalc’s software, allows you to add your own ingredients to the database so you can use it in the analysis of your recipe. It is important to note that you do need to have the nutrition information for the proprietary ingredient you wish to add. For instance, LabelCalc requires that you know the values for:
- Calories from fat
- Total fat
- Saturated fat
- Trans fat
- Total carbohydrates
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
As long as you have this information for your proprietary ingredient, you can add it right away and start analyzing.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Adding a Proprietary Ingredient
In order to explain how proprietary ingredient nutrition analysis works, here’s how it is done with our LabelCalc software:
- Navigate to “My Product Library.”
- Click the “Add New Ingredient” button in the top right corner of the page.
- Enter the name of the ingredient under “New Ingredient Name.”
- Enter the ingredients in your proprietary ingredient under “Display Name” (i.e. for a spice blend, enter the names of the spices—this will show up in your ingredient list).
- Add a description of the proprietary ingredient, if desired, under the “Description” heading.
- Select any allergens your proprietary ingredient contains by checking the boxes under “Allergens.”
- Enter the required nutrition values (highlighted in blue).
- Check the box at the bottom of the page verifying that you have reviewed the information and will be responsible for its accuracy.
- Click the “Add Ingredient” button.
- Success! The ingredient has been added to your account.
When you go to add your proprietary ingredient to your recipe, you’ll notice that when you start a new recipe you will see two text boxes—one that searches LabelCalc’s ingredient database and one that searches your ingredient database. Simply type in the name of your proprietary ingredient, select the right one from the search results, enter the amount you use in your recipe, and click the “Add Ingredient” button. Your proprietary ingredient is now added to your recipe analysis.
Each proprietary ingredient that you add is then saved in “My Product Library,” along with the date that they were created. They are automatically organized in alphabetical order, making it easy to find the one you need, and there is also a function that allows you to add notes to them.
What’s also great is that you can watch a video demo of proprietary ingredient nutritional analysis on our site. Seeing the process completed can be extremely helpful, especially if you are a visual learner.
I hope this has helped you understand that it is, in fact, possible to add your own ingredients to a database if they are not already there. Just as long as you choose an online nutrition analysis software that has a feature that allows you to add proprietary ingredients, you shouldn’t have any trouble making your nutrition facts panel. In fact, you may be surprised at how quick and easy it all is.
LabelCalc is an industry-leading online nutrition analysis software with a feature that allows users to add proprietary ingredients, making nutrition analysis quick and easy. To learn more, contact us today.