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Food labels - No magnesium mentioned

  1. Oct 17, 2012 #1
    Recently I've been looking for foods rich in magnesium to experiment with personal nutrition. Although I had found several sources that sited the rich magnesium content of black beans, when I found several brands of the beans at the store, I noticed none of the nutritional labels mentioned magnesium, yet iron (anther trace element) was listed on all of them. Why is this? What determines what goes on a nutritional label and what doesn't? I find it annoying that I have to research my food at a distance from the point of sale :grumpy:

    I have a theory about the no doubt lengthy listing of absolutely everything of human nutritional value on a food label, but that's all I can think of.

    Sorry if I sound entitled :). (it's probably the case that I'm just being entitled heh..)
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2012 #2
    Iron is much more popular than magnesium.

    Technically, if I'm not mistaken, everything (or as many ingredients/nutrients as possible) is supposed to be listed because of consumer concerns like allergies, lifestyle choices, etc. It may just be laziness on the part of the manufacturer, or perhaps the information you got was incorrect (I don't know, this is not my area of expertise).
  4. Oct 17, 2012 #3


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    I believe that food labels do not need to list trace amounts.

    All I can find is this
    Apparently they are not required to list all vitamins and minerals, just the main essential ones.

    Read more: What Items Are Listed on a Food Label? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5074561_items-listed-food-label.html#ixzz29ceQp9z9
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  5. Oct 17, 2012 #4


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    I'm imagining my can of corn listing "Uranium" as a trace ingredient.
  6. Oct 17, 2012 #5


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    LOL! If it listed trace amounts, it would have to list rodent urine, feces, skin, claws, hair, teeth. Insects and the nasty stuff that goes with them. The FDA actually allows for these things to be present in foods. I'm glad that they AREN'T listed.
  7. Oct 18, 2012 #6
    I don't consider trace amounts to be ingredients or nutrients. However, I do know vegans who won't eat food that has even touched an animal product, so knowing as much as possible would be important to them. Of course, it's not as if I really care, and I'm certain manufacturers don't.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  8. Oct 18, 2012 #7
    Heh, this just sounds funny, but it's probably the case.

    It was definitely correct (that none of the black bean manufactures labeled magnesium in their products, and I checked 4 or 5 of them in the store.) This may not exactly be a good source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=2 (scroll down to the chart), but it's readily verifiable with other sources as to the magnesium content of black beans in general. Notice that it appears to be more present than iron in black beans, yet it ducks the labeling process.

    I know this wasn't in response to me, but just reiterating for the sake of the argument that I believe the iron contents of the beans to be less (based on any metric I can think of - milligrams or % of recommended daily value) than the magnesium contents.

    Recommended daily values by the FDA: http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/scales/dailyvalues.htm

    Percent of daily value present in black beans: <link was already posted above>

    This seems to be the case, I'm still looking into the details and why certain things are listed and not others. Certainly magnesium is "essential".
  9. Oct 18, 2012 #8


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    Black beans fall under conventional foods, thus the nutritional labeling is voluntary:
    http://www.fda.gov/food/labelingnutrition/default.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  10. Oct 18, 2012 #9


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    That's what I was trying to find!!!

    Thanks Monique!!

    Also, dydxforsn,do you use www.nutirtiondata.com [Broken] to look up food values?

    Scroll down for minerals. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4419/2
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  11. Oct 18, 2012 #10


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    In any case, if you think your diet is deficient in magnesium, eat more greens. Chlorophyll contains magmesium, whatever plant species it comes from.
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