Software for composition of rations
Software for composition of rations Saskia van der Kam 07.12.98
Re: software for composition of George Beaton 08.12.98
software for composition of rations -REPONSE Claudine Prudhon 09.12.98

from : Saskia van der Kam


Dear colleagues,

a while ago (October) software ACFNUTCALC was mentioned in NGONUT and

results were shown: the content of minerals and vitamins in absolute

amounts and expressed as a percentage of the reference. This month I

have been wondering what this reference might be: RDI, SLI, optimal

level of intake, or the content of a reference ration?

In order to be able to work with the outcome expressed as percentage

of a reference in a reponsible way it is essential to know the origin

of this reference.


Saskia van der kam, MSF-Holland


Date: 9 Dec 98 01:00 EST

From: " George Beaton" <>

Subject: Re: software for composition of


In reponse to the plea by Saskia van der kam, I would go on record urging that the calculation of intake as % of some (any) reference be completely omitted from software packages. This can be extremely misleading, even when the soure of the reference requirement estimates is known . The software should stop at the estimation of intake perhaps, if possible, with some sort of confidence bound attached to the estimate. The user must then develop his/her own approach to assessment of the estimated intake. For too long we have been using erroneous and sometimesvery misleading approaches to interpretation. Automating erroneous approaches does not make them better. We need to think!

George Beaton, Professor Emeritus

Univrsity of Toronto

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 09:50:52 +0000

From: Claudine Prudhon <>

Subject: Ngonut: software for composition of rations -REPONSE


In response to Saskia van der Kam and Georges Beaton messages, I would like to precise that two references are available in nutcalc software. One is used as a reference for the supplementary diet for moderately malnourished children, according to figures published in the EJCN (see reference below) and is expressed as desirable nutrient density . The other reference is derived from the **Nutrient and energy intake for the European Community** (see reference below) and is expressed as population reference intake, which corresponds to the recommended dietary allowance.

This software was principally designed to assess the micronutrient content of the diet given to beneficiaries of nutritional programs. Even if it has some limitation, it is a practical and easy tool to use in the field.

Golden MHN, Briend A, Grellety Y. (1995) Report of meeting on supplementary feeding programmes with particular reference to refugee populations. EJCN, 49; 137-45.

Reports of the Scientific Committee for Food. (1993) Nutrient and energy intakes for the European Community. Luxembourg : office for official publication of the European Community.