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Food Composition Analysis

Food composition is legally presented to us in the form of a nutritional information panel (NIP). All NIP are required to show the amount of each nutrient in a quantity of 100g and in a quantity of 1 serving (determined by the manufacturer). A serving is not the same as a portion (how much you choose to consume)

The NIP may also present the recommended daily intake (%RDI), which is based on a single set of references from the “average” adult. RDIs are not particularly useful for macronutrients, but are particularly important for micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

Glycemic Index (GI)

Glycemic index is a measure of the effect of the carbohydrates in a particular food on the blood glucose over a period of time (formally - 2 hours after consumption). They must be tested in an analytical lab and meet strict nutritional criteria

The value itself ranges form 0 to 100, with the following definitions:

  • Low - \(\leq 55\)
  • Medium - \(56-69\)
  • High - \(\geq70\)

Criteria to be Low GI

GI Fat (\(\:g/100\:g\)) Carbohydrates Sodium Dietary Fibre
\(\leq55\) \(\leq10\) (If saturated fat \(\leq3.3\:g/100\:g\))
\(\leq15\) (if source is grains, seeds or nuts)
\(\leq45\:g/serve\) \(\leq400\:mg/100\:g\) \(\geq3\:g/100\:g\)

Health Star Rating (HSR)

The HSR Is a front of packaging nutritional label (brief overview), that’s based on the nutritional composition. It takes into account the following nutrients:

The following 8 categories of risky and healthy nutrient groups must be analytically determined per \(100\:g/100\:mL\):

  1. Energy
  2. Saturated fat
  3. Total sugars
  4. Sodium
  5. Protein
  6. Dietary fibre
  7. Fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes
  8. Calcium content (dairy products)

The actual calculation is carried out using the HSR calculator (HSRC).


FSANZ requires foods containing allergens to be declared on the packet. These include trace amounts, such as if the factory manufactures other foods containing the allergens. These allergens include:

Peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, sesame seeds, fish, shellfish, soy, lupin and wheat

Food Composition

Nutrients are broken down into two primary categories:

  • Macronutrients - required in the body on the scale of grams and make up the bulk of food
    • Protein, carbohydrates, dietary fire, fats/lipids, water
  • Micronutrients - required on the \(mg\) or \(\mu g\) scale and only occur in trace amounts
    • Minerals, trace elements, vitamins (both water and fat soluble)