Is there any point to use specific brands when they likely used software for nutrition labels?

Methods of nutritional analysis of food products:

  • Lab analysis - ideal for heavily processed foods, but takes time and costs $800-1000 per sample
  • Nutrition analysis software - fast and convenient; one is $50 per month for unlimited recipes
  • Consultants

Single ingredient foods are not required to have lab tests done (

So when I see different nutrient quantities for different brands, especially macros, I wonder if there is any point besides the convenience of bar code scanning...


  • We definitely recommend using the generic version from NCCDB rather than a brand name product for whole foods. Even if a manufacturer completed lab analysis, nutrient values on American labels are required to be rounded and they will typically include only the short list of nutrients required by law on the nutrition label. Whereas NCCDB has average nutrient values for many samples analyzed, and report many more nutrients than you would find on a nutrition label.

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

  • Thanks. That makes sense.

    Additionally, why might a whole wheat flour (such as North Dakota Mill, Food #9534870, Data Source: CRDB) have three grams less protein, per 100 grams, than the generic NCCDB version?

    I don't see any advantage. (There is only a seven calorie difference.) But I suppose most consumers are also not comparing whole foods.

  • It could be due to rounding on the label; maybe there is actually 3.4g of protein in the North Dakota Mill per 30g serving, but they were required to round it down to 3 on the label. This rounding difference is magnified when you enter a larger serving size.

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

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