Applying Chemical Research to Food Labels

Food Label Analysis


  1. Food Ingredient Analysis:

Buying foods can be confusing.  By reading the food label and ingredient list you will be well armed with information that will help you decide about the foods and chemicals you are putting into your body.  Today we will look at ingredient lists of foods and research the most common food additives.


First, when you are researching, remember that the source that you read is important.  Here are some sources that you can trust.  If you find others, please cite them.



Mayo Clinic


Medical News Today

National Library of Medicine (NCBI)



  1. For Homework:
  2. Find the ingredient list for a food you would like to learn more about or a favorite food.


  1. Complete research on these chemicals/additives. These are the most commonly used food additives in the U.S.
  Uses Risks










Sodium Nitrate  





Guar Gum  





High fructose corn syrup  





Artificial sweeteners  





Artificial colors  





Sodium Benzoate  





Artificial flavorings  










Ascorbic acid  










BHA and BHT  

















  1. Applying Chemical Research to Food Labels
  2. Insert a picture of the name of the food and its ingredient list here:













  1. Looking at the ingredient list you chose, provide the list of ingredients in this chart and then fill in what you have learned. If there are any ingredients that you didn’t research yet, do some quick research to fill in the blanks.


Ingredients Uses Risks


























  1. Form a conclusion about the food that you are researching. Explain your reasoning.





  1. Food Label Analysis:

Remember that there are:


  • 4 calories per gram of protein.


  • 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate


  • 9 calories per gram of fat


  • 7 calories per gram of alcohol



  1. First, let’s practice figuring out how many calories of the macros are in certain foods. I’ll do this first one for you:


This label comes from a bag of chips:


  1. How many calories (of the 160 in the serving) come from fat? Carbs? Protein?






















  1. What percent of the serving comes from fat? Carbs?





















One more label:



  1. Of the 340 calories, how many come from fat? Carbs? Protein?













  1. What percent of the burger is fat? Protein? Carbohydrate?










  1. When looking at ingredient lists what are three things you will consider before buying a food?












  1. When looking at a food label, what are three things you will consider before buying the item?












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