Food Composition

As part of my evening meal today, I included some butter beans. From reading the side of the can, the butter beans are made up of

Per 100g

Protein 6g
Carbs 13g
Fat 0.4g
Fibre 4.6g

this only adds up to 24 g, what is the other 3/4 of the buuter bean made up of? I am guessing one of the things will be water, but I was quite surprised that only 1/4 of the “ingredients” are listed.

First one who says “butter” is gonna get it.


Maybe it’s like medicines, where they list active ingredients and inert ingredients, but since it’s food, maybe they don’t have to list the inert ones (I’m guessing the “inert” ingredients are the cellulose and water already in the beans). I’ll bet there was once a movement to add inert ingredients to food labels, but it failed because, of course, each additional letter of information on a food label translates to a 5 billion percent increase in the cost of packaging and would collapse the entire global economy if enacted (according to the National Association for the Enrichment of Food Manufacturers or whatever).

The remaining amount is almost all water. Think about the difference between a piece of fresh fruit and a piece of dried fruit (or jerky, if that’s your think). All of the dietary fiber, carbohydrates, protein, and fat remains, and just water has been removed. The difference in volume can be accounted for by lost water, and water is heavy.

Some much smaller (but not insignificant) fraction of the remaining mass might be preservatives and salts other than sodium.

Water. And I’m surprised some PC politician hasn’t demanded that they list water as an ingredient . . . in case someone’s allergic to it. Then ban it from schools.

Way ahead of you: article

OK, I got home and looked at the can of butter beans in my pantry, and noticed that :smack: you’re referring to the nutritional facts, not the ingredients. In the nutritional facts part of the label, they only list the stuff that counts towards FDA nutritional guidelines/recommended daily allowances. So there’s plenty of stuff in most foods that won’t be listed in the nutrition information.

I’m not sure to what extent this matters. Is “everything else” just inert stuff, or is there stuff in food that is significant, just not tracked by the FDA? I really don’t trust the FDA these days, so who knows?