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All you need to know about Food Constituents

Editorials Huge Health Medicals - 15:46:00
Food Label
To understand the information presented on a food label, you need to get any packaged food ( a package for food) that may be close to you, now turn to the part (on the package) bearing “FOOD LABEL or NUTRIENT FACT or COMPOSITION or CONSTITUENTS or INGREDIENTS “

Food label and nutrient fact

The information is presented sometimes in columns carrying the name of the constituent and the weight (per grams, milligram depending on the overall weight of the food). These are sorted in descending order; starting from the most available constituent to the least available.

The value of nutrient is given in percentages; the percentage daily value for a food tells how much nutrient the product will contribute to the body’s daily nutrient requirement.


Major constituents of food products

The main ingredient of a food is the characterizing ingredients that constitute the product name or that the product is sourced from. It makes up the highest constituent as they contribute more than 65% of the food weight. For example an apple juice is expected to contain upto 70% natural apple meaning that the juice was made from apple while other substances were added to enriched or fortify it.
The nutrient list provides also information on the total energy (in kilojoules or kilocalories) that an individual is expected to gain from the complete ingestion of the labeled food. This is estimated based on the composition of other nutrients like total fat (saturated and unsaturated), carbohydrate (from sugars like glucose, lactose, maltose etc).

Minor constituent of food products

The minor components of food include all food constituents whose concentration are in minute level when compared to that of major classes. Their concentration may be as less as 0.00001mg and their label is crucial because no matter how small the concentration is, it can influence the normal functioning of the body.

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Some of the minor nutrients include; mineral composition (including Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus and others), concentration of coloring agent and its source, cholesterol (may also be classed as Major nutrient. At times it can be absent if a claim is made on the label), concentration of flavoring agent and the source it was derived from etc.


What does fortification labeled on food package mean?

Fortification of a food involves enriching the food with a particular nutrient that may have been absent in the food or may have been lost during the time of processing. Nutrients are enriched based on approved dietary allowance to avoid complications arising from excess of such nutrient. All over the world, food substances are fortified with vitamins to help reduce some risk of deficiency of such vitamin in the populace. For example fortification of bread and other food substances with folic acid which is needed for proper development of tissues and growth. Read function of folic acid in pregnancy

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