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HOW/WHY do 40 g of diced dates have more calories than 40 g of whole, pitted dates?

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by annr, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    The nutrition facts on my pitted, whole dates say:

    Serving size 5 dates (40g)
    Diced dates (40g)

    Calories 130 (diced)
    Calories 120 (pitted and whole)

    Why would 40 grams of diced dates have 10 more kcals than 40 grams of pitted whole dates?
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  2. zzyzzogeton

    zzyzzogeton Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 17, 2013
    Are the brands the same?

    If not, then it may be as simple as different labs testing the dates submitted as test samples by their respective companies.

    If the two are of the same brand, then it may be a matter of what dates were submitted for test results and when. A company is not required to test the produce the use from year to year as to nutritional value. The results from a test in year "X" may be used for several years since the tests are NOT cheap to have performed.

    Sugar content of a specific type of fruit can vary from year to year based on rainfall/watering rates during fruit maturation. Some varieties produce sweeter fruit when they have had the exact right amount of water at just the right intervals. Orchards relying on a combination of rainfall augmented by irrigation have ups and downs in watering rates, which also affects fruit quality. A grossly over watered tree will have diluted sugar concentrations as the resulting larger fruit still have the same amount of sugars as the smaller fruits. (This is also variable based on the fruit in particular as well as WHICH variety of fruit trees are being harvested.

    Batch "X" of dates may be sent in for testing with the intended use being "Whole, pitted" and batch "Y" sent in for "Diced". The sugar content of the independent batches could be different based on the factors above, or any number of other factors I failed to mention.
  3. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    It's the labeling from ONE container of whole, pitted dates--so same brand--and I transcribed the nutritional facts as they appear on the side of the container.

    I think you have probably explained it though, and this company probably sells both pitted, whole dates AND diced dates and uses the same labeling information for both products: 2 different types of samples, 2 different results, both presented on the same same label for either type of date. The reader then chooses the stats that match what's in the container.

    OTOH, I have a bag of pitted, whole dates (different brand) that states 40 g = 130 kcal; no mention of diced! So I bet you are right, in the final analysis it's about cost containment.
  4. evltcat

    evltcat Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    ^--- This right here.
    I work for a natural foods company, and there are always differences in samples submitted to nutrition analysis labs at different times and/or from different crops.
    Most small manufactures either use the grower provided COA (Certificate of Analysis), or submit the samples once, because as Zzyzzogeton said, it's expensive.
    The only time you'd get new info is if you switch sources, the grower provides a new COA, or you have to run a new nutrition panel for some other reason.
  5. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    Thank you both. Very interesting!
  6. Shann


    Sep 2, 2004
    You burn off 10 calories cutting them up yourself :p

    Is there a wide variation in natural foods? A 10 calorie difference is notable and worth an explanation but not that big. Are there some where the difference is really big?
  7. evltcat

    evltcat Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    ^-- Yes there are. The most significant caloric increase is in packaged foods. If several ingredients have more sugar/carbs than their COA and are combined it adds up. It surprises most folks that the healthy vegan snack they just ate, that's supposedly 250 calories, may be 300.

    The USDA says:
    Is there a U.S. labeling regulation that establishes the allowable variance for the analyzed value vs. what is printed on the label? If so, what is the specific regulation? (April 2011)

    Yes, FDA regulations published at 21CFR101.9(g) specify two classes of nutrients; the allowable variance is different for each. Regardless of the class, the analyzed value is derived from a composite sample of twelve consumer units, with one unit coming from each of twelve different randomly chosen shipper cases.

    Class I nutrients are nutrients added to fabricated foods for the purpose of fortification, such as vitamins, minerals, protein and dietary fiber. For this class, the analyzed value must be at least equal to the label value.

    Class II nutrients are naturally-occurring nutrients. For this class, the analyzed value for the "beneficial nutrients" (vitamin, mineral, protein, total carbohydrate, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat or potassium) must be at least 80% of the label value and the analyzed value for the "nutrients to limit" (calories, sugars, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol or sodium) must not be greater than 120% of the label value. These allowable variances are commonly referred to as the "80/120 rule."

    So USDA compliance means your food can contain only 80% of the nutrients, but up to 20% more calories per serving.
  8. cpurcell


    May 9, 2012
    I don't know why this is a question, everyone knows that cutting fruit divides the cells, releasing more calories. Whole fruit keeps the calories inside, so there are fewer.
    *just trolling!*
  9. Shann


    Sep 2, 2004
    Thanks for the detailed answer. That is a significant variance.
  10. RJDudek

    RJDudek Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    I am sure you would have noticed but sometimes when fruit is chopped and needs to be packaged companies will coat the pieces in dextrose or another food product to prevent the fruit from turning into a congealed mess in the bag.
  11. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    Or more if you have to sharpen or hone your knife beforehand!

    Very funny! I was picturing someone's thinking, "Yeah, I'm only going to eat whole fruit from now on! Gotta watch my weight."

    This is a good point, and one of the reasons I read labels. I try to avoid all preservatives and additives--so in this case there is nothing but dates.
  12. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    This reminds me of the generic drug rules, as something that only the government could come up with?, although I understand that with food different batches will be different--sometimes they even taste different.

    I was wondering if there are any such rules applying to preservatives and additives like the "gums" or "E numbers." These additives are labeled but there isn't much information related to the quantity or source, etc.
  13. evltcat

    evltcat Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    Generally speaking additives and preservatives (other than salts) start moving out of the USDA and into the FDA's realm. You'll need to dig into the documents to find the allowable amount of most additives by name, since they can vary enormously depending on what the additive or preservative does. Most USDA Organic / CCOF Organic/Non-GMO foods do not allow non organic additives.

    Here are some links for you to research with.

  14. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    The sliced ones may have lost some water weight.
  15. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    I suspect you are correct. The sliced ones may be more desiccated to begin with.

    My other whole, pitted dates--that have a higher calorie count--are significantly drier.
  16. annr

    annr Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    Thanks for the info and homework!:) Good to know that most of the organics and non-GMO foods do not allow non-organic additives--though I still wonder about the wisdom of some of the additives, esp. on a cumulative basis.

    Last time I read about this, I was surprised by how many GRAS items had been introduced 50-60 years ago, and I don't know how much follow-up or testing has been done to be sure that those substances are as benign as anticipated.

    For example, I was on PubChem looking at CMC, and its number of uses are staggering. It is found not just in the food supply but in many household products, medical products, etc. Then there is cross-linked CMC...

    I always wonder if when some of these GRAS items were approved by FDA they anticipated their widespread use. In other words, the quantity of CMC (and variants) in one serving of something may be insignificant, but if one were to ADD ALL cellulose-related polymers consumed in all products--including vitamins, medications, foods, etc., would the net effect still be null or insignificant? Also, regarding the sources of all this cellulose: did they anticipate we would have moved so far in our agriculture and trade practices from the 1960's...:confused:

    And it doesn't seem like there are any control studies on these GRAS substances/chemicals from the 60's. (Just thinking out loud.) This is one of the reasons that I like to make everything from original ingredients at home and avoid the additives. Individually, they may or may not be fine, and collectively, who knows? Or at least I haven't encountered anyone who knows.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017

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