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Feb 20, 2013 04:48 AM

dodgy nutrition labels at TJ's

I've noticed a few discrepancies like cinnamon sugar coated almonds having the same calorie count as raw. Then I fell in love with the pocket full of fiber pita breads with a calorie count of 100. Really wanted this to be accurate but as I compared to other like products it just didn't jive so I asked about it. After a call to the company "nutritionist" was told that they are actually 140 calories per serving but calories were deducted for the soluble fiber which "just goes right through you" and won't add calories.

I know soluble fiber can be deducted from carb counts but never heard this practice. Another nutrition/calorie savvy friend said she's noticed the same with other Joe products.

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  1. I've noticed this on many items, at all supermarkets; for example, check out every generic or low end (ie Hotel Bar etc) butter labels and they are all identical. I was trying to compare brands once and couldn't find even one that was different by the tiniest bit. I really think they just copy from the closest thing they see out of pure laziness or to save time. Wonder if the government has some kind of allowable deviation, or is this something that will be the next big nutritional scandal?

    3 Replies
    1. re: coll

      USDA specifies that butter must be 80% butterfat. So I would expect the same calorie count for a generic butter as for LandoLakes. Euro style butters might be higher, with 82 or even 85%. Even if the labeling is standardized, I don't see why the real numbers should differ (within round off margins).

      USDA has a number butter grades, but those have to do with taste and appearance, not composition. And I don't think I've ever seen anything but grade AA butter in a grocery.

      1. re: paulj

        I would hope they would differ by a percent or two, just to prove they actually tested their product, but that might be asking too much I guess.

        1. re: coll

          Maybe they do test the butter, and sell the stuff that doesn't meet consumer-grade standards in bulk for other uses. And of course, product labels aren't changed with each batch.

      Some scientists are questioning how calories are determined. The current system dates back to the late 19th century, and may not properly take into account availability of those calories due to processing and cooking. Should fiber be counted the same as white flour and sugar?

      About those nuts - on a per weight basis, does that sugar coating increase or decrease the calorie count of the nuts. Fat, per gram, has more calories. So adding sugar will reduce the average calories/gram, right. It will increase the calories of a single nut, but that's not how the labels work.