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Nutritional Labeling: Laboratory Based Analysis or Database Analysis?

EMSL Analytical offers nutritional labeling services to help food manufacturers, distributors comply with food labeling regulations.


Cinnaminson, NJ, August 9th, 2012
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires food labeling for most prepared foods. The two most common methods for determining the nutritional content of food products are the Laboratory Based Analysis and Database Analysis methods.  Each method has its advantages and disadvantages and the decision to choose a method is usually up to the customer.
Laboratory based nutritional analysis methods require a physical sample of the product be sent to the laboratory. The samples are then prepped and analyzed using various scientific instruments and techniques to yield data that is specific and unique to the product.
Laboratory based nutritional analysis can be used for virtually any food type, including:
• General nutritional labeling needs
• Validating manufacturer or supplier nutritional information
• Validating data generated from software based database analysis
• Analyzing products containing unique or exotic ingredients or processing techniques
• Analyzing food for animals
Database analysis requires that the formula for the product, along with detailed information about each ingredient and product processing information, be submitted in writing to the laboratory. Typically, no physical sample is required.  Database analysis can be used for products that have common ingredients and products that have minimal processing, cooking, baking or drying.
Database analysis is not recommended when validation of nutrients is needed, for products that have unique or exotic ingredients, for products with ingredients for which there is no nutritional data available, or for products that undergo extensive processing.
This method can only be used for human foods, uses includes:
• Recipe overview
• Ingredient statement
• Allergen statement
• Nutrient content claims
• Nutrient value per serving
To learn more about nutritional labeling or other food testing services, please visit: or, call (800) 220-3675 or email .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 



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