LabelCalc: Entering External Ingredients

We have manufacturers of all shapes and sizes come to our website to create their own nutrition panels for their food products. We’ve helped thousands over the years! Because LabelCalc has such an extensive database from the USDA and a large branded database as well, it’s a great tool for fast, reliable nutrition analysis. Sometimes, when a user is trying to create a panel for their product, they need to enter their own ingredients. New ingredients come to market every year, and every once in a while, you may not be able to find it readily available in our database. But not to worry, that’s what the external ingredients function is for. And we’ll show you how easy entering external ingredients really can be!

Entering External Ingredients

An external ingredient is an ingredient that exists outside of our database. Lucky for you, you have the option of entering any ingredient you like and saving it to your very own “my ingredients” database within your LabelCalc account. To access the “external ingredients” tab:

  1. Login to your account
  2. Navigate to your Account Dashboard
  3. Locate the “External Ingredients” tab on the left of the screen.
  4. Click “Add Your Own Ingredients”

Once you’ve clicked the link to “Add Your Own Ingredients” you should expect to see this screen:

When you’re finding yourself needing to add a unique ingredient to your food product recipe, here’s where the magic happens.


Understanding Quantity, Measurement & Weight (Oh My!)

In the picture above, just above the “contact us” button, there is a field for “Quantity” with a little question mark appearing next to it. The quantity is the single-serving that you are entering in with it’s nutrition information. For example: if you were entering in 1 tbsp, the quantity would be “1” and the measurement would be “tablespoon”. The weight of the single measurement of your ingredient should be expressed in grams. For example, 1 tbsp of oil is 14.8g.

Remaining Ingredients

The remaining section of the nutrition fields you should fill out according to the information listed on your nutrition facts panel for a single serving of your recipe ingredient. If you do not have the ingredient nutrition facts panel in front of you, you can feel free to visit the brand or manufacturer’s website. 9 times out of 10 they will have the nutrition information that you are looking for so you can enter it into your product recipe and continue creating your label. For the rare times they don’t, you can always email the manufacturer to retrieve the nutrition information that you need.

Treat this section as you would a regular nutrition panel on a physical product. Fill in all the blacks to complete your external ingredient entry.

Pulling Up Your External Ingredients in Your “My Ingredients & Sub Recipes” Database

Once you’ve filled out the remaining fields to complete your external ingredient entry, hit save and continue. Now, when you navigate back to entering your product recipe, you can type your ingredient name into the search bar and it will populate —-BUT HANG ON —— it will ONLY populate if you are using the “My Ingredients/Subrecipes” tab. If you have selected the “My Ingredients/Subrecipes” tab, it should be highlighted in blue. View the photo below to see what that looks like!

When you are searching for the external ingredients that you have entered, you must select the “my ingredients/subrecipes tab”. If you are operating under that tab, the text will be blue (see photo). If you are not, it will be black.


And there you have it! You have everything you need to confidently add your very own ingredients into your LabelCalc account and add them to your “my ingredients” database to add them to your recipes! Anytime you need to pull it up, it will be there for you. If you create another label using that ingredient — you guessed it — it will be there!

For any other questions regarding entering external ingredients or using any other portion of the platform, make sure you check out our tutorials and you visit our “FDA Resource Center”. This will keep you updated on everything you need to know to continue to be a food labeling PRO!



What is LabelCalc?

LabelCalcⓇ is one of FoodCalc LLC’s two nutrition analysis products, created to help meet the needs of the food industry. Based in San Francisco, CA, we are a nationally recognized provider of online nutrition analysis that is fast, accurate, and FDA-compliant.

Watch A Demo

Recommended Reading

Using LabelCalc: Creating a Subrecipe

Depending on the complexity of your product recipe, sometimes your final product might consist of several recipes all rolled up into one. A frozen pizza, for example, tends to have multiple components: the dough, marinara and seasoning blend. When you have a food...