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Nutritional analysis from recipes is difficult to achieve with accuracy for most cooks. If you visit a supermarket and compare the same ingredient from different manufacturers you will find large discrepancies between brands for nutritional measures. Cooking methods can make a large difference in the nutrition of the finished ingredient in a recipe. Different nutritional databases also vary when calculating the result
Many recipe software programs including The Cooks Palate use the United States Department of Agriculture database as the baseline to provide nutritional analysis from recipes. The USDA database features accurate nutritional data, however, unless a specific brand is selected there are variations in seemingly similar ingredients. For example, King Arthur flour has different nutritional information than Gold Medal flour. Other flours will deviate from the calculations of these two. This is true for many, many ingredients. Therefore, the accuracy of nutritional analysis for a particular recipe depends not only on picking the correct ingredient, but also selecting the correct brand of the ingredient. The USDA database does not use a single brand but rather an amalgam derived from their own testing methods.
Another element in evaluating nutritional analysis from recipes is the method in which the recipe is prepared. Clearly a roast that is cooked at a high temperature for a short time to medium rare is going to have different nutritional values than a roast that has been slow cooked in a barbeque, or braised for several hours. The USDA usually provides raw and cooked foods but it does not provide for all forms of cooking.
So if you want you nutritional analysis from recipes to be accurate you must be sure that the ingredients you analyze are the exact same ones used in the recipe and that they are prepared using the proper method.
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