Last week, we have talked about the importance of nutrient and allergen management tools like EGS CALCMENU and EGS F&B Control, for foodservice professionals. We have concluded that such tools are an effective way to keep up with the growing need of informing consumers of the nutrient and allergen content in food products and in improving nutrient and allergen management in the food industry.
This week, we have listed down the various ways on how these tools, specifically EGS CALCMENU and EGS F&B Control help in ensuring reliable nutrient and allergen management.
1. CALCMENU Pro and CALCMENU Enterprise automatically provide nutritional information for your recipes and menus.
Each recipe’s nutritional content can be easily calculated to up to 12 nutritional values that you have chosen from several databases or references such as USDA (American reference), BLS (German) and ASA (Swiss). Nutrition information in labels or alongside your menu is more than just following government guidelines. It is a great marketing strategy as well. It was determined that a growing number of diners actually support laws requiring restaurants to post nutritional labels on their menus.
2. CALCMENU Pro and CALCMENU Enterprise provide hassle-free product labeling.
The same program that manages your recipes and menus can also be used to create nutrition labels for your food products. With CALCMENU Pro and CALCMENU Enterprise, each of your recipes’ nutritional information can readily be printed out as labels. The labels can be placed on pre-packaged food and on restaurant menus for the convenience of the customers and are expected to provide reliable information on the food product’s nutrient content.
The nutrition information that is automatically generated in CALCMENU assures reliability. A good demonstration of this can be seen in the laboratory test commissioned by Inselspital in Berne, Switzerland. The test is part of the study to assure the quality of their catering. They wanted to check if the macronutrient and energy content of the food they are serving to hospitalized patients complies with the nutritional value calculated from recipes as well as with the recommendations issued by the German Nutrition Society (DGE). The lab results which tested the nutrient content of certain meals showed to be within 5% of what CALCMENU calculated*.
3. CALCMENU Pro and CALCMENU Enterprise automatically identify and monitor allergen content.
Part of ensuring proper nutrition is also keeping a watchful eye on possible allergen content in food products since some allergens get into the food through cross-contamination. This is brought about by improper handling during preparation, storage or transport . Thus, careful management of food production, storage, transfers and even sourcing of the raw materials will do a great deal in keeping allergen contamination at bay.
Food manufacturers and retailers should be aware of the possible presence of allergen in their food products. Allergen management tools found in CALCMENU Pro and CALCMENU Enterprise allows you to include allergen information in your merchandise, recipes and menus, This allergen can be “inherited” by any recipe and menu that uses the food product. For example, the ingredient “Crabs” is marked as an allergen (shellfish). If a recipe uses Crabs in its ingredient, the recipe will automatically be marked as having an allergen (shellfish) also. In this way, each food product that contains this allergen can easily be identified and handled accordingly.
4. CALCMENU Pro and CALCMENU Enterprise allow you to adjust the nutrient/allergen content in a certain food product/dish.
This is handy when you want to make changes in your recipes without altering its quality. Let’s say for instance you found out that a certain recipe has quite high sodium content, you may modify this recipe’s sodium content to fit the diet requirement or taste of your customer.
Flexibility in your recipes, i.e. being able to adjust your recipes to help improve the nutrient content in meals, will be beneficial in the long run as nutrient and mineral requirements may change over time. This can be aptly demonstrated by a study conducted in 2004 by Donald Davis, PhD, a former researcher for the Biochemical Institute of the University of Texas, Austin. His findings show that there has been a decline of up to 50% in many minerals, vitamins and nutrients sourced from fruits and vegetables over the past 100 years. A similar study by the English researcher Anne-Marie Mayer, PhD, reports similar findings more than 10 years ago.(1) Meaning, even if people of this day eat the same amount of fruits and vegetables as they did back in 1940, they are consuming about 10% to 17% less essential minerals per meal.
This finding may also explain why nutrition deficiency in humans is prevalent today. Aside from the known fact the most people today eat below the recommended diet requirement, nutrition deficiency is made worse with drinking, smoking, food preservatives and additives, bad fats, etc. With CALCMENU, you can easily adjust the nutrient content of your meals over time to fit any possible changes in future nutrient requirements.
5. EGS F&B Control allows you to manage your suppliers and storage locations.
The F&B Control Suppliers List and Lot Management features allow you to keep track of all the suppliers for every food item you have. It records each transaction you do with the suppliers including invoices, purchase orders and delivery receipts. This way, you can trace which of the ingredients/orders are from which supplier. It also allows you to constantly check with your suppliers for any changes in the allergen status of the merchandise they supply.
With F&B Control, using the Link to CALCMENU function which links merchandise from CALCMENU to products in F&B Control, you may be able to control and oversee which allergenic merchandise are stored in each location. Cross-contamination between allergenic and non-allergenic food items can occur during storage when both are stored in one location and are without proper identification.
There are indeed a lot of ways in which you can improve the aspect of your business concerning the health and wellness of your consumers without overspending from your resources and putting a risk on your own business’ well-being. Knowing the right software like EGS CALCMENU and F&B Control is actually the first and probably the most important step towards a healthy goal.
Find out more ways on how EGS CALCMENU and EGS F&B Control can help improve nutrient and allergen management on our next post. Meanwhile, learn more about EGS CALCMENU and EGS F&B Control at our website: www.eg-software.com
*Source: Meeting the Nutritional Requirements of Hospitalized Patients: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Hospital Catering (2008) by S. Iffa, M. Leuenbergera, S. Röscha, G. Knechtb, B. Tannerb, Z., Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital