Explain the laboratory methods used to determine the energy content of foods? The laboratory methods used to determine the energy content of foods would be to combust it in a bomb calorimeter. Let’s say that I wanted to see how much calories is in a peanut. What I would do is burn it in a bomb calorimeter. As I am burning it, I would record the temperature of the water inside the bomb calorimeter. After the peanut is completely burned, I would calculate the Q value of water. Let's the temperature changed 6.0 oC and the mass of water was 100.0g. I calculate Q by (6.0 oC)(100.0g)(4.18kJ/ oC), which is 2508J. I would divide that with 4.184J because 1cal=4.184J. The calories in that peanut would be 599.43 cal.