Q. I am interested in your thoughts on the nutrition labeling information we should use for betaine (trimethylglycine). I feel it should be zero for protein, carbohydrate and fat, and treated more like a micronutrient (like vitamins). Betaine does analyze for its nitrogen, but it is an amino acid derivative not a protein. I think calories would be 4 (amino acid part).
For comparison, it is very similar to choline and quite similar to taurine, carnitine and beta-alanine
A. If you are wanting to enter betaine as an ingredient in the Genesis database, it would be best to enter the gram weight, ash, and water, and assume that the proximates, vitamins and minerals are zero. In food composition databases non-protein nitrogen is not counted in the protein total. If you are wanting to track the betaine content of products, you can add betaine as a nutritional component, and then enter betaine data for appropriate foods.