In a perfect world, nutrition analysis and food labeling software would be simple, while providing FDA compliant nutrition facts and an instantly-downloadable label for your food products.
Well, food manufacturers rejoice! Nutrition analysis and food-labeling just became that much easier and dare we say, user-friendly?
Read along to find out how easy it is to put a recipe into LabelCalc’s cloud-based software. Whether you have one product or many, keeping track of your product recipes, nutrition information and printing your food labels can all be accomplished in one shot.
Let’s Begin: Recipe Input
You have your product recipe and maybe it looks a little like this:
Maple Brown Sugar Granola
Makes 6 servings
3 C Oats
1 C almonds, slivered
1/4 C brown sugar, packed
1/4 C maple syrup
1/4 C coconut oil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cover a large baking sheet with wax paper
- Place oats and slivered almonds in a large bowl, stir to combine
- In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, maple syrup, coconut oil (refined), cinnamon and salt.
- Add wet ingredients to oats and almonds and stir until contents are thoroughly and evenly coated
- Spread oat mixture evenly onto wax-covered baking sheet, creating a thin layer
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until granola is toasted and evenly browned
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving
Sounds delicious. But how do we turn a recipe into this:
Let’s begin by logging in and getting an inside look at how this software works and what makes it the best nutrition analysis and labeling software to date.
Enter Your Product
Input is as simple as answering a few questions. Place product name into box and give a little description. Take note of the helpful little side bar, telling you what you need to complete your nutrition analysis effectively to produce an FDA compliant label. It mentions the demos, which you can watch, or just continue reading.
Initial Data Input
First, of course, you’ll be choosing the label format you would like to use. LabelCalc already has the FDA compliant label formatting for 2020, so why not get compliant? Click the bubble next to the words “New Format” and voila! Your product is ready for 2020.
Onto ingredient input:
Let’s take the first ingredient on the list, oats. Entering into LabelCalc’s database means that your search results come directly from the USDA Ingredient database. How’s that for accurate nutrition information? Upon entering and clicking “Display Choices” the search results show up to the right. Using the drop down tab, you choose your measurement and then enter the quantity to the left. Then simply click “Add Ingredient”. What results can be seen on the picture above below the title of “Ingredient Name”. For this example, I previously entered almonds as well as table salt. LabelCalc’s software automatically generates the calories per ingredient quantity under ”Nutrient Comparisons”, and if you look about the “remove” option, you will see that the total weight of your ingredients are being calculated as you add them and translated into grams. That’s important, you’ll need that later.
Entering Serving Sizes
After inputting all of your ingredients, we move on to serving size. Is it getting too difficult yet? We didn’t think so! Let’s continue.
Before we enter serving sizes, let’s talk about the field asking you to enter “weight loss”. What the nutrition analysis software is asking you here is if there was a percentage of product lost in the preparation process. So, say you are preparing a chicken breast but instead of using the entire breast, skin and fat was removed. This would effect the meat’s total weight, resulting in a weight loss. For a simple chart on calculating weight and determining weight loss, click here.
Back to our tutorial:
If there is no known weight loss, click the button that says “No Yield” and move onto serving sizes.
Uh, oh. Unfamiliar with the metric system? Note the side bar to the right of the picture with the title “Serving Size Assistance Tool”. Enter the amount of servings your recipe makes (in this example, there’s 6) and hit calculate and there you have it!
When entering the calculated value into Step 1, this number is rounded to the nearest gram according to FDA Rounding Rules . Once you have saved and updated the serving size in grams, Step 1 is complete.
Step 2, enter your servings. In the case of our delicious granola recipe above, 129g is approximately 1 cup so there are 6, 1-cup servings per total recipe yield. 1 cup goes in the top box and 6 goes in the second to reflect the proper serving size and total servings of my food product on the nutrition facts label. Click “Save/Update” and then “Continue” to move on to the next step.
Allergens & Statements
Does your product contain any of the Top 8 Allergens? Next we cover how to discover allergens in your product and how LabelCalc’s software pinpoints these ingredients and generates your allergen statement for total FDA compliance.
To generate your allergen statement, LabelCalc’s software will pre-check the boxes for ingredients consisting of the top 8 allergens: Egg, fish, milk (including all dairy products), tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat and soy. You may also find that these boxes are pre-checked for ingredients that do not include these allergens. Why? This is a safety net against cross-contamination. In my recipe, oats had all boxes pre-checked due to the high potential of oats being processed in a facility that also processes one or more of the Top 8 food allergens. The oats used in my recipe were sourced from a company that assures no allergens are processed in that facility. In this case, the user can override the LabelCalc suggestion and uncheck the suggested boxes.
On a separate note, my recipe does contain almonds, which are in the Top 8 allergen category under “tree nuts”, so you can see that the “tree nuts” box is accurately checked. Noted allergen sources such as these can not be removed from your statement as this would be going against FDA allergen regulations for food labeling.
Just Follow the Prompts for Guided Data Entry
Note that there are several prompts throughout this step in completing your food label. If you have any questions concerning the allergen information of your product, there are FAQ’s listed in a hyperlink next to “Ingredients” and other information under the blue link stating “read this first”. If you are still unsure, you may contact LabelCalc and even confer with their staff-dietitian for reassurance and compliance measures. Thorough enough? (Click here if you would like to meet our Registered Dietitian, Elysa, or simply ask her a question).
Once this is complete, you can save and download your ingredient list complete with allergen statement. This recipe’s ingredient list will have an allergen statement saying “contains: tree nuts” as stated above. Want to know what’s next? It’s the last step:
Download Your Label
You made it, you’re done! Well, almost. Just a couple more boxes to check and you’re all set.
If you’re unsure what label format to choose, to the right of the screen you’ll find a blue tab for “FDA Label and Sizing Regulations” which will help you select the correct label for your packaging. Customize your label by clicking bubbles and you’re on to part 2, downloading!
Choose your file type and click that beautiful blue wording stating “download now”. And you have successfully created a FDA compliant nutrition label complete with nutrition analysis, ingredient statement and allergen statement. You are officially ready to move on to the next part in your food manufacturing journey rest-assured that you’ve used the highest-quality, yet user friendliest software out there and have joined the likes of Wolfgang Puck, and other major brands who trust LabelCalc for all of their labeling needs.
LabelCalc is an industry-leading recipe analysis tool used by food manufactures, global retail stores and food entrepreneurs. To get started, see our pricing today.