Nutritional labels show information about the total calorific value of the food product and also state total and saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate dietary fiber, sugars, proteins, vitamins, calcium and iron. Additional information related to other nutrient content claims such as low fat, high fiber or fat free might also be stated on the food product labels.
However, it is mandatory for the standardized nutritional labels to contain and present content information on the following five constituents protein, fat, moisture, ash and carbohydrates, where the constituents themselves are known as “proximates”.
Analytically, four of the five constituents are obtained via chemical reactions and experiments. The fifth constituent, carbohydrates, are calculated based on the determination of the four others. Proximates should nearly always account for 100% of a food product; any deviation from 100% displays the resolution of the chemical test, as small variations in the way each test is performed accumulate or overlap the compositional make-up. A combination of different techniques, such as extraction, Kjeldahl, NIR is used to determine protein, fat, moisture, ash and carbohydrates levels.