Nutrition Bars & Cookies Review (For Energy, Fiber, Protein, Meal Replacement, and Whole Foods)
HOW PRODUCTS WERE EVALUATED:
Products selected represent those commonly sold and/or available nationally in the U.S. and Canada. ConsumerLab.com purchased products on the open market through retail stores, on-line retailers or direct sales companies. Products were not accepted directly from manufacturers.
- Nutrition bar products were tested for their total calories, moisture, ash, total fat, poly- and monounsaturated fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, protein, total carbohydrates, total sugars, total dietary fiber in products containing 5 g or more per serving (including soluble and insoluble) and sodium content. Products were also tested for sugar alcohols (not including glycerol) if claimed on the label. All products were analyzed for their specific nutritional components using Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) International methods.
- Analyses of all products for lead, cadmium, arsenic and sodium were performed using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS).
- Gluten: Quantitative analysis of gluten in any product claiming to be gluten free by Enzyme immunoassay methodology (AOAC 2012.01).
Any product not passing initial testing criteria was sent to another independent laboratory to repeat testing for the criterion on which it did not pass.
ConsumerLab.com may modify or use other appropriate test methods if necessary to test special product formulations.
The identities of the products were not disclosed to the laboratories performing the testing.
To achieve a "Pass" in the testing, a product had to:
A "Pass" was based on meeting the above criteria in either the first or second rounds of testing.
- Specify the amount of all nutrients in the product that are required by the FDA to be stated in the Nutrition Facts panel for foods or in the Supplement Facts panel for dietary supplements.
- Meet its label claims within a specified range for each nutritional component as indicated below:
- Calories (within 20% of claim);
- Total Fat (within 1 gram or 15% of claim, whichever is greater; or, if claiming zero total fat, no more than 0.5 gram/serving);
- Saturated Fat (within 0.5 gram/serving or 15% above claim, whichever is greater)
- Trans Fat (within 0.5 gram or 15% above claim, whichever is greater);
- Cholesterol (within 4 mg/serving or 15% above claim, whichever is greater; or if claiming zero, no more than 2 mg/serving);
- Sodium (within 50 mg/serving or 15% above claim, whichever is greater; or, if claiming zero sodium, no more than 5 mg/serving);
- Protein (within 1 gram/serving or 20% of claim, whichever is greater);
- Total Carbohydrates (within 5 gram/serving or 15% of claim, whichever is greater; or, if claiming zero to 3g/serving of carbohydrates, within 1g of claim);
- Total Sugars (within 1 gram/serving or 15% above claim, whichever is greater; or, if claiming zero sugar, within 0.5 gram/serving of claim);
- Sugar alcohols (within 1 gram/serving or 15% above claim, whichever is greater, and list all sugar alcohols detected at one gram or higher);
- Total dietary fiber (within 2.5 grams or 25% of claim, whichever is greater);
- Insoluble dietary fiber (within 1 gram or 20% of claim, whichever is greater);
- Soluble fiber (within 1 gram or 20% of claim, whichever is greater).
- Heavy Metals. Products must not exceed the following limits:
- Products marketed for use by children may not exceed California's Prop 65 limits for lead in dietary supplements of 0.5 mcg per recommended daily serving with an additional allowance of 0.8 mcg if the product contains more than 1,000 mg/day of calcium.
- Products with single serving weights of less than 5 grams that are not marketed for use by children, may not exceed the State of California's Prop 65 limits for lead in dietary supplements of 0.5 mcg per recommended daily serving with an additional allowance of 0.4 if containing 250 to 999 mg/day of any combination of elemental calcium, magnesium and potassium or 0.8 mcg if containing 1,000 mg/day of any combination of these minerals. An additional allowance of 0.5 mcg is provided if containing 250-999 mg/day one whole herb (not extract) or 1.0 mcg if containing 1000 mg/day or more whole herb (not extract). However, total lead allowance will not exceed 2 mcg per recommended daily serving.
- Products with single serving weights of 5 grams or more which are not marketed for children may not exceed 2.5 mcg per serving nor 4.0 mcg per daily serving.
- If marketed for use by children, may not exceed 3.0 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (based on Canada's limit for a child weighing 75 lbs.). If not marketed for use by children, may not exceed 4.1 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (based on the State of California's Prop 65 limit).
- Contain less than 10 micrograms of total arsenic and no more than 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per daily serving (EPA limit and state of New Jersey limits - based on 1 liter of water).
- Gluten: No more than 20 ppm per serving (FDA).
- Comply with all FDA labeling requirements.
* Passing scores allow for specific margins of technical error associated with each analysis. ConsumerLab.com reserves the right to disqualify a product at any time from passing its testing if it considers such product to display unacceptable variation in quality, present a safety risk or to provide misleading or inaccurate information in its labeling.
** Based on State of California's Prop 65 lead limit. California requires supplements exceeding this limit to bear a warning label regarding lead.
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