Wednesday 5 December 2012

New features: Downloadable 'ASDA' style hybrid graphics and more

Myself and the team at a la calc are pleased to announce a couple of new but long awaited features.

In his set of updates we have simplified the interface and at the same time increased functionality and speed of use.

Impossible? Well we've achieved this by updating the main site navigation, combining the graphics displays in the recipes' Results tab, making the graphics downloadable as jpeg files, offering new display styles and introducing a clear notifications system, and with any luck you will do all these things faster saving you precious time.

Go to and Sign In to try the changes for yourself or read more below.

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Aston University uses a la calc to research age related macular degeneration


Aston University have chosen to aid their research into age related macular degeneration. Needing a system that allows them to analyse the lutein zeaxanthin content in the diets of individuals, a la calc is a perfect fit.

In the words of a member of the Aston University research team:

"We are investigating attitudes towards, and awareness of, nutrition and supplementation for age-related macular degeneration. a la calc will be invaluable as it will allow us to assess dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are thought to play an important role in the prevention of progression of this sight-threatening disease"

We wish the team nothing but success with their research.

Thursday 15 November 2012

New features: Copy ingredient from Standard database to Custom database and more

We're always hard at work trying to make easier and faster to use and therefore more productive.

To prove out point we've got a few new features to tell you about, which are live now and ready to use.

The first feature is one that some of you have asked about, Copy from Database is a button you'll see in My Ingredients, and will allow you to choose an item from the database and copy all of the details to your custom ingredients for fine tuning.

The second new feature is for improving speed of input of ingredients to your recipe; in a recipe's Ingredients tab you can now navigate using your keyboard arrows and tab button to save switching keyboard to mouse and back again, this should shave valuable time off adding ingredients.

The third and final big improvement on in this round of new features is the introduction of the a la calc Standard database. This is a database of ingredients often used by manufacturers that don't appear in the other Standard databases.

Sign in at to try the new features!

..or read a bit more about each feature and how to use it.

Thursday 25 October 2012

New UK Front of Pack Single Labelling System Proposed by the Department of Health

Yesterday the Department of Health announced plans for a 'single system' front of pack nutrition display system. The aim is to unify the current traffic light, GDA and hybrid systems used by manufacturers and supermarket chains into one easy to read, consistent graphic that will help consumers make a quick and informed choice.

As always at, we will be ready for when the new format comes into play and all of your recipes results will be available in the new format as soon as humanly possible after the system is finalised.

Saturday 25 August 2012

New feature: Ingredient database selection

You may notice that our new Ingredients interface also allows for selection of colour coded databases. This leads to another recent update; the inclusion of the USDA database.

Simon, our technical development manager, has been hard at work allowing our nutrient engine to handle the vast database of the USDA (US Standard) database. Meaning you will have access to all the USDA regionalised products (and many branded US products).

Improvement: Ingredient search interface

We consider the adding of ingredients to the recipe the heart of operations at With that in mind Richard, our technical designer, has updated the way ingredients are added to a recipe to make it faster, smoother and display more information than before.

New feature: Traffic Lights !

One comment we’ve received from many users is that we don’t provide traffic lights output. Well, we take your comments seriously so, with the help of our in-house chef (who has been in restaurants, take-aways, production and test kitchens for over 45 years), we’ve solved this problem!

Wednesday 25 April 2012

New feature: Excel export for recipes

We at alacalc are working hard to make your nutritional calculation as easy as possible and continuously extend and improve our services.

In order to simplify the postprocessing of your calculations we are introducing an export to Excel feature.
It works just like the PDF export, but generates a Microsoft Excel document containing all your recipe's details including ingredients, allergens, GDA and typical nutritional values. This also alows you to manipulate the data in whichever way you please.

The following screenshots give you a impression:

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Important changes in regulation relating to labelling of Palm Oil

Food operators can no longer label Palm Oil under the umbrella of 'Vegetable Oil'.
Manufacturers and food retailers are required to adhere to and comply with new regulations and implement relevant changes on food labels.

The Food Information Regulation (EU Regulation 1169/2011)

In December 2011, the Food Information Regulation came into force. This regulation
means that the type of vegetable oil, including palm oil, being used in products must be
clearly identified. It will stop the umbrella term ‘vegetable oil’ being used alone, as the
specific type of oil will have to be specified in brackets afterwards.
‘Refined oils of vegetable origin may be grouped together in the list of ingredients
under the designation ‘vegetable oils’ followed immediately by a list of indications of specific
vegetable origin, and may be followed by the phrase ‘in varying proportions’. (EU, 2011)
If you use palm oil in products being sold packaged, you will have to state this in the
ingredient declaration. It will allow consumers the chance to see if you use palm oil, and
if you do not advertise the fact it is sustainable, they can assume it is not. We advise that
if it is sustainable, you advertise the fact openly.

From the food service point of view, you will be in a position to clearly see if your
suppliers are using palm oil and if it is sustainable. This is your chance to increase your
Corporate Social Responsibility and help not only the environment, but also the people
living in the producing countries.
Due to the transitional period, the new rules regarding vegetable oil will apply from 13th December 2014

Sunday 1 April 2012

Best New Idea Award Given to Balanced Nutrition Pizza

Well pizzas aren't anything new, but a pizza which follows the official UK guideline daily amounts (GDA) for an adult to give a full balanced meal is exactly what Eat Balanced have produced. The range of pizzas were presented at the Food & Drink Expo 2012 at the NEC last week and picked up an award for 'Best New Idea'.

We've not tried any here at a la calc but we look forward to seeing them at some point in the near future for guilt free enjoyment.


Saturday 31 March 2012

Introducing the official a la calc blog!

For those of you not familiar with our service, a la calc is an online nutrition information calculator program, specifically designed for ease of use and flexibility. It is both fully featured and easy to use to satisfy everyone from professionals to individuals.

OK, introductions out of the way, let's talk about the blog. In this blog we plan to talk about the latest features and updates to a la calc well as the latest news and developments in the food industry concentrating on (but not exclusive to) what matters to you and to us, nutrition.

We hope you will engage us with comments and feedback to our news and features as it is an important part of us providing you with what you want.