Wednesday 7 March 2018

New Calorie Counts on US Food Menus - what you need to know

Summary: The biggest change in nutritional labelling in the US is happening right now - be prepared with!

As of May 2018, restaurants and other food outlets with 20 or more locations must display calorie counts on their menus. This changes has been announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While this change might first sound expensive to implement, there are good software solutions that help chains to calculate the calorie counts for their products quickly, easily and cheaply.

You can find the official announcement here.

Here are the most important information regarding this change:

Question: Who needs to display calorie counts?
Answer: Any big chain with 20 or more locations. This includes restaurants, grocery shops, amusement parks and movie theatres.

Question: What needs to be displayed?
Answer: The calorie counts must be shown for each food item on sale.

Question: How can I calculate the nutritional values for my own products?
Answer: Generally speaking, you have the choice between sending your food products to a laboratory or to use a software solution. Laboratories give accurate calorie counts, but the analysis can take weeks and cost $100s per food item. Software solutions are sufficiently accurate, cheap, quick and easy to use. For instance, offers calorie calculations for less than $3 per food item and the analysis can be done at home within minutes.

This topic is being extensively covered in the press, see for instance here.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Alacalc is compliant to upcoming FIR and BRC regulations

New regulations for food labels are being updated on a regular basis. At put a lot of focus on always being in compliance with these regulations.

For British and EU users, the current food label regulations are described in the

Food Information for Consumers Regulation (FIR),

or in a more readable format here:

Guidance on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers.

For British companies, the details of the traffic light system is explained in the

British Retail Consortium (BRC).

More and more business are aware that these regulation’s  provisions will generally have to be complied with as of 13 December 2014.

Our customers are happy to know that is compliant to these regulations. And just as important: in case that regulations change, users will automatically get access to the regulations without upgrade fees.

Not using alacalc yet to calculate your nutrition labels? Try it for free on

Thursday 6 February 2014

Aston University & a la calc : Researching Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)


Back in December 2012 we announced Aston University had chosen a la calc to help in their research of a degenerative eye condition.

They planned to explore the effect of lutein and zeaxanthin on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and found a la calc to be the most useful tool in helping them analyse daily nutrition intake.

AMD is a condition where the macular (aka 'yellow spot') painlessly degrades resulting in blurred central vision. It is estimated that it affects 1 in 10 people over 65 (source: NHS).

Well. Great news has come back from Dr Batlett and Mrs Stevens who were heading the research. Their statement reads:

“Dr Bartlett and Mrs Stevens at Aston University have been investigating the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin that patients with age-related macular degeneration consume, using the US database in A La Calc. They have found that the majority of AMD patients do not consume the required 10mg per day, and will need better patient education. The results from this study are due to be published in the British Journal of Visual Impairment in 2014. The team will now investigate how much lutein and zeaxanthin is consumed by the general population who do not have the eye condition.”

We're immensely proud to have helped in a key part of researching such a condition and look forward to helping Dr Bartlett and Mrs Stevens making further strides in their research.

Sunday 12 January 2014

What's new: new look, multi-recipe PDFs, recipe tagging, newest FOP graphics

It's been a few months since we've updated our readers here, but that's only because we've been so busy making even better!

Here's a round-up of the latest changes which you can access right now by logging in or signing up for a free trial.

  • Fresh new look - updated more modern look at feel throughout a la calc
  • Download many recipes in a single PDF - including the new UK/EU front-of-pack (FoP) graphic labels being phased in through 2013/2014
  • Recipe tagging - tag recipes for better organisation
  • Recipe optimisation - the next BIG thing from a la calc

Want to know more? Carry on reading below.

Saturday 30 November 2013

a la calc Edu Edition is here!

Nutrition intake is indisputably key to the most important part of the human body, health. Because of this a la calc are dedicated to teaching future generations of everyone from home cooks to professional chefs how to calculate the nutritional content of their recipes.


a la calc Edu Edition

We've developed a set of tools specifically for use in the classroom by teachers and lecturers that aren't available to users of the manufacturing edition. These include:

  • Creating of student unlimited accounts (simply import a spreadsheet of all your students)
  • Student account management (reset passwords, group and organise)
  • Teaching resources (lesson plans, coursework guides etc in association with
  • Student work analysis (see how long a student has taken to complete a recipe and more)
  • Reduced price plans and discounts for purchasing accounts for multiple schools/academies
  • Extra, massive discounts for special circumstance, community projects, emotional behavioural development units (upon application)

Thursday 22 August 2013

New UK/EU Labels Now Available

Finally it's here.

The long awaited much, talked about, unified, consistent Front of Pack (FoP) nutritional labelling system was announced by the government a little over a month ago (press release, specification).

We at pride ourselves on being up to date with the latest specifications and regulations regarding package labelling and are very proud to announce that the new specification labels are available for download from the website for all of your current recipes now.

Keep reading for more important info.

Saturday 20 July 2013

Our biggest update ever - including LIVE results updating, faster performance, new tools and image uploads!

Our regular readers will know we slave away tirelessly at improving the performance and productivity of a la calc.

The last couple months have been no exception.

It has been a while since our last lot of updates in March earlier this year, but it has been worth it!

Among this batch of improvements to website are:

  • Completely rebuilt My Recipes overview including
    • Select multiple recipes for download to PDF
    • Framework for more exciting new features
  • All new Recipe tab
  • Nutrition tab has been rebuilt from the bare bones to include
    • Live on-the-fly updating of nutrition and graphics
    • UK and US style graphics accessibility improvements
    • Ingredients with allergens highlighting
    • Sub-recipe ingredients breakdown
    • Seving size helper calculator
    • Pack size helper calculator
  • Image uploading
  • Tutorials for each stage of the recipe creation and tweaking

For more details keep reading.