July-August 2011


Using Units in Recipes for Successful Nutrition Analysis


For a successful nutrition analysis, NYC must be able to convert your recipe ingredient unit into grams.  For this to happen, you must have already linked the ingredient to an item in the nutrition database, and NYC must be able to find an appropriate conversion factor.  If you specify your unit in a mass unit (kg, oz, lb, etc), NYC will easily be able to convert it.  Otherwise, NYC searches the following for an appropriate unit conversion factor:


1.      the USDA nutrition item’s serving size list

2.      NYC’s unit conversion list (found in Shopping… Conversions… - this list is customizable by you).


You get an Omission Error if after both these source NYC cannot find a conversion factor to convert your unit to grams.


Here is a step-by-step solution to a couple actual cases reported by users.


Problem 1:


I am having problems setting up the nutrition figures for user-added ingredients.  In my recipe, I have eight small gingersnaps, and I have entered this into the recipe as:

qty      unit            ingredient             preparation
"  8       each          gingersnaps           ground  "

I went to the nutrition database, found "cookies, gingersnaps" and linked it to the recipe ingredient.  When I tried the nutrition analysis, NYC told me it could not convert to grams, even though I linked it and double-checked the link.




The problem occurs because the recipe ingredient’s unit is “each”.  The USDA database serving sizes are:


28.35 g = 1 oz

7 g = 1 cookie

32 g = 1 large (approx 3 1/2in to 4 in dia)


Thus, the user’s unit “each” is not a mass unit (e.g., kg, oz, lb, etc), it exists nowhere in the USDA database conversions nor in the user’s conversion list (Shopping… Conversions…).  Therefore, NYC gives up and says it cannot be converted to g.


The best solution is to use a mass-qualified unit in the recipe ingredient, such as “each (4 oz)” instead of “each”. 


Alternatively, use “cookie” or “large” instead of “each”.  Any of these alternative units will produce a nutrition analysis.


Problem 2:


In recipes, adding “2 eggs” as an ingredient gives me the nutrition analysis error “cannot convert to grams" even though I have it linked to “egg,whl,raw,frsh”.  Google Search says there is approx 60 grams per egg.  Okay, if I enter “120 grams of eggs”, nutrition analysis works great.  However, in menu planning we are going to resize to 6 meals.  This means 12 eggs.  Shopping list says I need to purchase 0.72 kg eggs.

In conversions:
for this ingredient: eggs
1 gram = 0.01666667 egg

The way I think is 720 grams times 0.0166667 = 12.000000024 eggs.  I would like to see: please purchase 12 eggs, or, 1.0 dozen eggs.




The problem here is that no unit has been specified by the user – he just specifies “2        eggs” in the recipe ingredient.  The “egg,whl,raw,frsh” nutrition item shows these serving sizes:


243 g = 1 cup (4.86 large eggs)

56 g = 1 extra large

63 g = 1 jumbo

50 g = 1 large

44 g = 1 medium

38 g = 1 small


The best solution is to use a "mass-qualified" unit “each (60 g)” a the unit for your recipe ingredient “eggs”.


qty     unit                 description

2       each (60 g)       egg


Then the nutrition analysis will work because it recognizes the grams in the "mass-qualified" unit, and resized menu plans will result in a shopping list with qty as # of eggs. 


Alternatively, use a unit from the serving sizes for the nutrition item such as “jumbo” or “large” or “medium” instead of “each”.  Any of these alternative units will produce a nutrition analysis with a readable shopping list.


home | overview | download | features | screenshots | purchase | support
tips | FAQ | recipes | more links | email us


Back to Now You're Cooking! Recipe Software