Lack of Internal Consistency and Integrity

Compiling food composition tables involves recording nutrient profiles for many foods and many nutrients, and errors can easily occur during this process. Quality control is important in this field, just as it is in the development of any product. Developers of the most accurate composition tables always include procedures to ensure that the numbers are correct. In addition to having several people review any new data before they are added to a table, several automated types of integrity checks are possible. For example, the energy value of a food item should approximate the value calculated from the main components (4 kcal/g times the grams of protein and carbohydrate, plus 9 kcal/g times the grams of fat, plus 7kcal/g times the grams of alcohol), and any deviations should be investigated. Likewise, the sum of all the macronutrients (water, protein, fat, carbohydrate, alcohol, and ash) should be approximately 100 g if the nutrient profiles are given per 100 g of the food. Quality control procedures such as these should be an integral part of the compilation of food composition data.

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