Q. Should I use lab analyses or database values to prepare my Nutrition Facts panels? What do I need to consider when working with the software?
A. Both methods, lab values and electronic database values, are accepted by Canadian and U.S. government. Values reported in the ESHA database and values from lab analyses are all derived from the averages of several samples for each ingredient or product. Either method would provide results suitable for use on nutrition facts panels. You will want to perform due diligence checks on data from either source to be sure that your proximates, calories, fat information and other values seem appropriate.
Some companies use a combination of Genesis R&D data and lab analysis to calculate the label data. For example, a potato chip manufacturer has sent samples of their fried potatoes to the lab for analysis. This provides them with the base data for their products. They store the potato analysis results in Genesis R&D as a new Ingredient. They then create Recipes for the spice combinations of the various chip flavors in Genesis R&D from the ESHA database or supplier data and add the flavor Recipes to their plain potato chip data.
When using Genesis R&D, you want to find the exact or closest match of the ESHA ingredients to those you are using. You can add as many new ingredients to your Genesis R&D software as you need, so you can obtain data from your suppliers and add these to the programs.
A few other considerations when using the software would be selecting an appropriate form of the ingredient (dry form vs. liquid ingredient or raw vs. cooked form) and considering how the product is prepared. How does cooking, processing, storage or any steps along the way affect factors like moisture content or final product?