Amino Acids correction


In many foods items Amino acids(AA) do not adds up to what they should (do not reach its total protein content or it goes beyond its total protein content). So in the algorithm you could make it so that it detect the difference between addition of each AA and total protein then correct by a relative factor all of its AA (evenly). It seems a simple task, mathematically at least.

Sometimes it even did not put the data (eg. Tryptophan and lentils sprouts).

Also make a sign that data is missing (for example a branded product with no AA data might falsely biased calculation for the day).

People might be mistaken that they lack some AA and confirming their inexistant deficiency through your app...

Also, in the summury, the percentage of kcal from protein is often innacurate (lower than real value).

Thank you,



  • I'm wondering if the chain length in triglycerides might also be worth recording.

  • I agree with your irony but people know That fatty acids for instance are not essential(you just need omega3 and 6 in the form you want) and less complex so people will not feel like they are missing. But for proteins people do think some proteins are not complete and feel like they will shrink by not eating eggs or whatever.

    What I propose is also a simple correction of few MISTAKES of cronometer's data. (like some foods have more total AA than proteins)

  • Oh.
    I didn't know that was ironic.
    I was just adding on an extra bit to your post about aa's because this is related. And, it's important to me since I take MCT oil and it just registers as Oil. I also use Coconut Oil, and that should have its 20% MCT count in there. That way I know if I'm getting a steady flow all day. I don't know if it's alot of trouble for them to add this function in, but it seems simple to me.
    No biggie.

  • edited August 2019

    My mistake, i thought you did irony because of your wink and because i did not saw well the purpose. But given your condition and specific diet i can see what you mean.

    Now that I to talk to you it make me think that some want to count AA also to not have too much (like a low methionine and low leucine diet for cancer or kidney stones, arthritis etc)

  • I was trying to be friendly. Sorry about that.
    [sigh] Ah, the Interwebs.
    They can be so confusing.
    Thanks and have a good one.

  • Products that haven't been analyzed by NCCDB and USDA, have nutrition labels that only include a very basic set of 14 nutrients mandated by law. We are not a lab and do not test foods for their nutrient content, and can only provide the information that is available to us from the manufacturer.
    I recommend using NCCDB or USDA listings which will be more likely to contain a more complete nutrient profile including amino acids.
    The protein content may be higher than the sum of the individual amino acids. This is because not all amino acids are shown in Cronometer - some of our sources list the essential and conditionally essential amino acids, but there are others that make up the proteins in our foods.
    If you would like to get more information about how the USDA developed the nutrition guidelines for protein and amino acids, you can learn more about them here:

    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • edited August 2019

    I knew about all these, this is why I said what i said.

    So that when there is not a complete database for the specific food.

    So that when the sum of AA (that cronometer reported) are more than total proteins.

    Cronometer have almost all AA, when all cronometer's AA are significantly less than total AA clearly that is not some kind of exotic AA that composed for the rest.

    Usda can have missing/unreported data or their data being zero. But Cronometer is always zero(sometimes it is quite ok but sometime misleading)

    Here is few example:

    Lentils cooked from dried. Kcal summary say 27% from prot and it should be 31.1% (1g of protein=4kcal) (345g=400kcal=31.1g)

    And for instance pork roasted loin fresh say more that what it should to the contrary.

    Pork bratwurst or a carrot has more total AA (double) than total proteins.

    Lentils sprouts shows no triptophan yet in reality it does. Given the rest of data is present, people might think the data is zero when in fact the data is missing.

    Ps: that is only few examples, i don't even eat pork yet notice it (because of its abnormal data that stand out in rankings for instance).

    People often use your app when they wanna change a habit and confirm if stuff are okay on your app. It is sad that they will not see that switching pork for legumes is way more healthier than what cronometer show(which is not really abnormal obviously but still). On a sidenote Usda sometimes have phytonutrient content btw.

  • edited August 2019

    Hi @123Ace ,

    Perhaps you could email us with some examples of the issues you are seeing? ([email protected] - You can reference this conversation and I will make sure it gets to me)

    There are targets for the essential amino acids that are separate from your total protein target.You need a certain amount of protein each day to stay healthy. There are also some essential amino acids that we need to get in our diet because we cannot make enough to meet our needs; but meeting only your essential amino acids will not give you enough total protein for the day.

    The percentages shown in the calorie wheel are based on the energy calculated from the macronutrients from the foods in your diary. In general, the amount of energy from proteins is 4 kcal/gram (based on the Atwater Factors). There are also modified factors that take into account that different foods with the same amount of a particular macronutrient can be digested differently, resulting in different energy values. The actual energy value from each food could potentially be different, so this would be a long list. The 4/4/9 multiplier scheme for protein/carbohydrates/fat is just a very rough way to approximate the Calories in food. In reality, it is not that simple. Our database provides more accurate values, whenever possible. The main difference will be found in carbohydrates and protein. This is based on Merrill and Watt's work, summarized in the book Energy Value of Foods: Basis and Derivation if you would like to learn more.

    You may also note, that the percentages that you see listed in the nutrient breakdown in your diary are based on your personal targets that you have created for yourself. The %DV that you see on nutrition labels is a standardized value used for nutrition labels to help people better understand amounts on labels. In the Cronometer Calories Summary, the Nutrient Targets shows your nutrition targets for the day.

    We make a practice of entering no value when there is no value reported and a 0 only when there truly is 0 reported of a nutrient. If this is not the case please send me an example of this as well.

    I see tryptophan listed as 0 for both "lentil sprouts, raw" (Food #455008), and "lentil sprouts, cooked" (Food #455009). What information have you found about the tryptophan content in lentil sprouts? I would be interested to look into it and contact our nutrient databases if there is data to back this up. There is the possibility that it is found in low concentrations only and has been rounded down to 0 if it is not substantial enough.

    NCCDB listings typically have the most complete data, so I would recommend using those when in doubt. You can learn some tips and tricks for getting the best data for your needs in this blog post written by the founder of Cronometer:

    Let me know if this didn't address your questions!

    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • edited August 2019

    Hi Hilary, thank you for your answer.

    First my targets has nothing to do with any issue I talked about, it concern the data itself.

    Look at the examples i told you. I made visible also non-essential AA too.

    For instance if the food X has:

    Total Proteins=10g with15g of AA(leucine, serine etc) there is a problem.

    If proteins=50g with only 10g of AA in total there is also a problem because an exotic AA is highly unlikely to explain such a difference.

    On your database you do not always put a missing data when there is no data you put zero. Furthermore a database can say "N/A"or "0" or "insignificant" or do not put at all the entry for this nutrient(like usda and triptophan in lentil sprouts, and nccdb rely on usda). So data is missing not zero. Lentils sprouts have in reality same % of tryptophan as non sprouted (≈1.1 so more than methionine+cystine for instance).

    I see you do not use the 4/4/9 general atwater system of energy value but specific factors provided by the usda for instance. So A protein from animals would generally be more or less ≈4.3kcal/g while plants will more be ≈3.5kcal/g even 2.8kcal/g for vegetables or cornmeal. These speculations are a bit messy(for instance because cronometer do not know how we prepare stuff) especially if you speculate that you can add these numbers. Or maybe you use specific factor for the details on one item but use general factor for the whole day or for (unclassified) recipe when there is many items(in one meal or not). For many reasons the general 4kcal/g is generally prefered especialy when AA analyses are available, I think not following common standard can be overall a bit misleading especialy if general factors are not used for the whole day or for a recipe(when several items is added). Item by item details of such factor might be nerdy interesting but without knowing why it would be (because it is not really protein utilization etc).

  • @123Ace ,

    Would it be possible to give us some specific examples of foods where the amino acid content is higher than the total protein?

    The protein content will be higher than the sum of the individual amino acids. This is because not all amino acids are shown in Cronometer - some of our sources list the essential and conditionally essential amino acids, but there are others that make up the proteins in our foods.


    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • edited August 2019

    Hello Marie-Eve,

    I already answer these questions 2-3 times, you can see my examples above. Pork bratwurst and Exotic amino can only explain a little difference etc.... for the full answer read my message above 😅


  • edited August 2019

    1) more AA than proteins.

    2) way less AA than proteins (so likely unexplainable by an exotic AA). So it could be a sign showing a number for the difference(eg. Watermelon "10% missing AA") and some general info on this number like : "likely explained by either another AA(eg. L citruline, ergothionine, carnitine) or by a discrepancy in the data if too high".

    3) missing sign for missing data (at least for AA because all foods except gelatin have all AA). Especially when usda did not put a "0" as value.

    4) do something to take into account missing data of some products in the overall day details (that might be a hard question)

    I do not use cronometer that often so I cannot have written down plenty of examples (like on AA<prot) but when i do look on cronometer it happen sometimes.

    5) kcal summary weird. [already answered by Hilary]

  • Hello @123Ace ,

    For ''Carrots, Raw'', amino acids and total protein were measured by two different methods. The total protein is very low in carrots.This is commonly seen for foods that low protein contents such as carrots, where we sometimes see large discrepancies between them.

    For ''Bratwurst, Pork, Cooked'', the protein amount was determined by chemical analysis in the USDA laboratory. The amino acid amounts were estimated using a similar meat item as the basis, instead of analyzing each of the amino acids. If you are seeking amino acid estimates for bratwurst, please consider ''Bratwurst, Beef and Pork, Smoked'' which has 12.2 g protein/100 g (analytically measured) and an estimated 11.5 g total amino acids.

    Kind regards,

    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Hence what I propose seems a nice idea.

    I do not eat pork, I merely point out discrepancy and ideas to solve them,I am not curious about peculiar food items. It would be better if people see the mistakes in data when there are. Not mistakenly overestimating pork 's AA etc...

    4 small updates to do that correct the few misleading stuffs about the app that I mention above.

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