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How Do Food Manufacturers Calculate the Calorie Count of Packaged Foods?

Did you ever wonder how the calorie counts on food labels are figured? Scientific American asked that question, and found that the process is a little more complicated than you might think. In the old days, a “calorie” referred to the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius. This method of figuring calories — “kcal” — is called the Atwater system. If you think that sounds confusing, others thought so too...

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