Nutrition Analysis: What’s In Your Jar?
Did you know that when you turn a product over and look at the Nutrition Facts panel, what you see there is most often an estimate of the nutrition in that food or drink. The good news is, it’s usually a pretty close estimate. Nutrition Facts panels exist to help you make informed decisions about nutrients that could impact your health. The FDA creates a list of nutrients that are required or can voluntarily be included on a Nutrition Facts panel.
What's Required on a Nutrition Facts Panel
The current Nutrition Facts panel, which was updated in 2021, requires the following information to be included:
- Serving size
- Servings per container
- Total fat
- Saturated fat
- Trans fat
- Total carbohydrate
- Dietary fiber
- Total sugars
- Added sugars
- Vitamin D
Other nutrients, such as the full vitamin and mineral amounts, can be included. You’ll notice that every Otamot product includes the full vitamin and mineral amount in addition to the nutrients listed above. There’s a lot of nutrition in every jar of Otamot, and we are proud to share that information with you!
How The Nutrition in a Product is Determined
The nutrition analysis of most products and recipes is determined using a calculation method, in which a food or nutrition specialist uses a database of common ingredients to calculate the nutrient amounts in each food. The nutrition in a product can also be determined by lab analysis, which is a more accurate depiction of what’s inside a product.
Calculation Method of Nutrients
The calculation method is used most often. With this method, the Nutrition Facts are determined by manual calculation using a nutrient database or nutrient software calculators. It is important that someone who is familiar with the recipe or product formulation completes the analysis, since key measurements, liquid or fat losses, and ingredient sizes and weights can make a difference in the outcome.
The up side of the calculation method is that it is inexpensive. The down side is that it is time consuming, can introduce human error, and the nutrients are not exactly reflective of the true product. That doesn’t mean this method is bad or shouldn't be trusted, as an experienced nutrition professional can determine a very close estimate of the nutrition in a product or recipe using a reliable database.
Lab Analysis of Nutrients
A less common method of determining the Nutrition Facts is by laboratory analysis. With this method, the finished food or beverage product is sent to a third-party laboratory where the product is physically tested to determine ingredients and nutrient amounts using approved methods.
The pros of laboratory analysis is that the nutrition is completely accurate and reflective of the nutrients you’re consuming when you eat that food. Food manufacturers who use this method receive a certificate of analysis that they use to build the Nutrition Facts panel you see on the side of a box or jar. Lab testing reduces labeling risk and errors while ensuring regulatory compliance. The con of lab analysis (and the reason not all food manufacturers use it) is because this method is quite expensive.
Otamot uses Medallion Labs as its third-party regulatory nutrient analysis partner. This is the reason why you can see and trust that every nutrient on one of Otamot’s Nutrition Facts panels is reflective of what you’re eating. Because Otamot products are full of nutrient-dense vegetables and high-quality ingredients, each one contains an impressive lineup of essential nutrients, including additional vitamins and minerals.
The nutrient lab analysis of Otamot products is yet another reason to bring this delicious and nutritious brand to your table.
Jessie Shafer is a registered dietitian-nutritionist, team member at The Real Food Dietitians, a former magazine editor, and busy mom of two who has personally calculated the nutrition in more than 1,000 recipes.