SweetWARE

nutraCoster 2.1

 

Folate Technical Details

 

Folate (Vitamin B9) is a water-soluble vitamin. It is important in cell division, and is important during pregnancy to prevent neural tube birth defects. Folate is also called Folacin.

 

Folate consists of naturally occurring food folate, and synthetic folic acid.

 

The body more easily absorbs folic acid than it does food folate. A unit called Dietary Folate Equivalents (DFE) is used to compare the activity of food folate and folic acid. 1 g (microgram) of food folate is equivalent to 1 g DFE. However, 1 g of folic acid is equivalent to 1.7 DFE. The following table summarizes:

 

 

Nutrient

g

g DFE

Food Folate

1

1

Folic Acid

1

1.7

 

DFE Details

 

At the time of this writing (2004), the RDI (Reference Daily Intake) of Folate is 400 g DFE.

Because the conversion from g to g DFE is different for food folate and folic acid, you cannot convert g to DFE (or DFE to g) for Total Folate unless you know the proportion of food folate to folic acid in the sample.

 

For example, knowing that you have 170 g DFE of Total Folate is not enough information to determine how much food folate and folic acid you have. 170 g DFE of Total Folate can come from 170 g of food folate, or from 100 g of folic acid, or from 85 g food folate plus 50 g folic acid, or from many other combinations of food folate and folic acid. The following table summarizes:

 

Sample Values

g

Total g DFE

170 g Food Folate

170

170

100 g Folic Acid

100

170

85 g Food Folate + 50 g Folic Acid

135

170

 

In general, if a food is naturally occurring and has not been enriched with folic acid, you can assume that all of the folate is food folate.

 

nutraCoster Details

 

Entering Food Folate or Folic Acid Values

 

When you enter g for food folate or folic acid, nutraCoster automatically calculates the DFE and %RDI values for the nutrient.

 

When you enter DFE for food folate or folic acid, nutraCoster automatically calculates the g and %RDI values for the nutrient.

 

When you enter %RDI for food folate or folic acid, nutraCoster automatically calculates the g and DFE values for the nutrient.

 

When you change any of the values for food folate or folic acid, nutraCoster checks the Total Folate value. If the Total Folate value was the sum of the food folate and folic acid values before the change, nutraCoster recalculates the Total Folate value to be the sum of the new food folate and folic acid values.

 

If the Total Folate value was not the sum of the food folate and folic acid values before the change, nutraCoster does not update the Total Folate value.

 

Entering Total Folate Values

 

When you enter Total Folate values for g, DFE or %RDI, nutraCoster cannot calculate the values for food folate or the folic acid unless it knows the proportions of food folate and folic acid (see the section DFE Details above for why this is so).

 

When you enter g for Total Folate, nutraCoster checks to see if the Total Folate g value was the sum of the food folate and folic acid g values before the change. If so, nutraCoster recalculates the food folate and folic acid g values so the sum of the values is equal to the new Total Folate g value, while keeping the proportions the same

 

If nutraCoster recalculates the food folate and/or folic acid g values as a result of a change to the Total Folate g value, it will also recalculate the DFE and %RDI values for the food folate and folic acid.

 

Finally, nutraCoster will recalculate the DFE and %RDI values of Total Folate based on the new values for food folate and folic acid.

 

Example: Suppose you have 170 g Total Folate, which is composed of 70 g food folate and 100 g folic acid. The following table lists the values for the example:

 

Nutrient

g

g DFE

%RDI

Total Folate

170

240

60%

Food Folate

70

70

18%

Folic Acid

100

170

43%

 

Now change the Total Folate to 255 g. nutraCoster performs the following steps:

  1. Total Folate g was the sum of the food folate and folic acid values, so nutraCoster increases food folate and folic acid proportionally to 105 g and 150 g.
  2. The new value of 105 g for food folate converts to 105 DFE and 26 %RDI.
  3. The new value of 150 g for folic acid converts to 255 DFE and 64 %RDI.
  4. Using the new DFE and %RDI values, Total Folate is now 360 DFE and 90 %RDI.
  5. The following table shows the results after the change:

 

Nutrient

g

g DFE

%RDI

Total Folate

255

360

90%

Food Folate

105

105

26%

Folic Acid

150

255

64%

 

nutraCoster performs a similar series of steps when you enter DFE or %RDI values for Total Folate.