# Food labels and nutrition references

Mentor
US References:
https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx

DRI provides basic nutritional intake guidelines. There are extensive tables broken out by nutrient, by age and by gender.
Terminology:
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy people.
Adequate Intake (AI): established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA and is set at a level assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy.
Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects.

USDA Food data central (FDC)
https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/

The EU, Australia, NZ, and WHO all have similar resources, as examples. Also, software to automate calculations from data for foods like ground beef, which come in an array of lean::fat percentages, i.e, 73::27. This affects calories, fatty acids, trans fat and so on.

Food processors, nutrition researchers and food scientists are the main audience. Some primary goals:
Code:
Processed food nutrition label compliance for new product development.
USDA school lunch program compliance.
Of course anyone can access and use them, which is the reason for this post.
Also note:
Because of the huge impact this regulation set has on the food industry there is a political component to how much X nutrient is required. And whether or not it has to be in a school lunch. You may remember the wacky debate about 'Is ketchup (catsup if you like) a vegetable?'

Let's look at trans fat. It took 15 years to enforce a deadline on the use of them in foods. And remove them from the GRAS list.

Boutique trans fat triglycerides were extensively used in bakery products, deep fryers, and prepared foods. They were a really great solution from the food industry's point of view. In 1990's research indicated that human metabolism did not deal well with trans fatty acids, it exacerbated arterial plaque buildup.
Ex: M Kolhmeier 'Nutrient Metabolism Structures, Functions, and Genes' pp 174-179 2015 edition.

There are also tiny amounts of trans fats in the meat of some ruminants.

So, the compromise was to put trans fat on the label, but any amount less than 1 gram is displayed as zero grams. The other big impact was for deep frying in restaurants and processing plants. Polyunsaturated oils undergo changes at high temperature so there are on-going problems for manufacturers and fryer owners.

Have some - see if can find unusual food like maybe 'polar bear liver' in the FDC. I have not looked in the current edition, but it has been there for several years

Last edited:
Astronuc