Reliability of Data
There can be many different nutrient values for a given food. Various factors influence the amounts of nutrients in foods. Among these are mineral content of the soil, diet of an animal, fertilizers or growth hormones used, genetics of the plant or animal, season of harvest, and processing method. Additional factors include the methods of analysis, differences in moisture content of samples, length and method of sample storage, number of samples tested, and varying methods of cooking or preparing the food. As a result, even reliable sources will report different nutrient values for the same food item. When the USDA reports a single value for a nutrient, that value is usually the average of a range of data. In their more detailed reports, the number of samples and standard deviation of the data are noted.
Nutrient data should be viewed and used only as a guide – a close approximation of the true nutrient content.
Pre-label data from food manufacturers is compiled, when available, to build the nutrient database for brand-name food items.
Blanks in the ESHA database represent cases where there is either no available data or a lack of reliable data. A zero value means that an item has been analyzed and there is no nutrient content.
Registered owners of Genesis® R&D are notified as periodic updates are made to the database.