Defining Units of Measure

Here is what you need to know about units of measure in nutraCoster.

  1. Each item in the Master Items List has its own set of units (a cup of oil is different from a cup of water).
  2. There is no limit to the number of units you can define for each item.
  3. Items in the USDA database already have most of the common units defined.
  4. There is no limit to the number of items you can add to the Master Items List yourself.
  5. When you add an item the only units defined are the weight units (lbs, oz, g, kg).
  6. You can define any other units you need by telling nutraCoster how much they weigh. For example, for Canola Oil, 1 cup = 218 g, or 1 cup = 7.6896 oz
  7. When you define any of the volume units, nutraCoster automatically defines the rest of the volume units for you.
  8. You can define any unit in terms of any other defined unit. For example, 1 muffin = 3 oz, and then 1 package = 3 muffins.

Use the Add or Change Units procedure to define units. You can access this procedure several ways:

  • Click the Units of Measure tool bar button at the top of the screen. Whenever nutraCoster knows which item you are working on this button becomes enabled (the measuring cup is red). When you are not working on a specific item the button is disabled (the measuring cup is gray). If you hold the mouse pointer over this button for a moment nutraCoster will tell you its function. See the General Information chapter in nutraCoster Help for a description of tool bar buttons.
  • Right click the item anywhere in nutraCoster and choose Add or Change Units from the shortcut menu.
  • Choose File, Master Items, Add or Change Units from the menu.

If you want precise nutrition, the weight of the units of measure must be precise.

When weighing items to define units of measure, weigh the largest possible quantity. This will reduce the effects of resolution and measurement errors.

If you are defining units for items that have a natural variation in size (such as cookies), weigh a larger quantity and take an average.

For packaging items and other items that have no nutrition value, the weight is not critical, but it doesn't hurt to get it close.

Here are step by step instructions. As an example we will define a unit as 8 cookies = 16 oz.

  1. Open the Units of Measure window using any of the techniques described above.
  2. Type the unit description in the Unit field (the yellow field with the blinking cursor).

    Example: Type the word "cookie" (without the quotes).

  3. To the left of the Unit field, enter the number of units you are defining (this will usually be 1).

    Example: Delete the 1 and type 8.

  4. To the right of the equal sign, enter the quantity or weight for the number of units you are defining.

    Example: Type 16.

  5. Open the Unit dropdown and select the appropriate unit for the number of units you are defining.

    Example: Select "oz" as the unit. At this point the line across the top of the Units window should read "8 cookie = 16 oz".

  6. Make sure the Singular and Plural forms of the unit are correct.

    Example: This would be "cookie" and "cookies".

  7. Click Save Unit.

The new unit will now be available in the unit dropdown for this item everywhere in nutraCoster.

Refer to the Units of Measure chapter in nutraCoster Help for more information.