Food Energy

      Food energy is the amount of energy in food that is available through digestion.Food energy is typically measured in units of calories, although the International System of Units unit kilojoules (1000 joules) are becoming more common.

      Some types of food hold more food energy than others: fats and sugars have particularly high food energy levels.Note that the "calorie" used by dieticians for food is sometimes called a kilocalorie; it is equal to 4.1868 kilojoules.

Food Energy Measurement

       In the early twentieth century, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed a process for measuring food energy that remains in use today.

      The food being measured is completely burned in a calorimeter so that the heat free through combustion can be accurately measured. This amount is used to determine the gross power value of the particular food. An adjustment is then made based on how the human body actually digests the food.

      For example, clean sugar releases about 3.95 Calories per gram of gross energy but the digestibility coefficient of sugar is about 98% in humans, so the food energy of sugar is 3.87 Calories per gram of sugar.

Energy Content

Protein contains about 4 (nutritional) calories per gram.

Carbohydrates contains about 4 calories per gram.

Fat contains about 9 calories per gram.

Alcohol contains about 7 calories per gram.

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