Reference Intake RI

A voluntary UK front of pack Nutrition Labelling Scheme from 19/6/2013 uses Reference Intake information RI – this was known as Guideline Daily Amount GDA

It shows levels of energy, fat, saturates, sugar and salt in red, amber or green if the traffic light system is used.

RIs for fat, saturates, sugars and salt are the maximum amounts that should be consumed in a day. These figures are based on an average sized woman, doing an average amount of physical activity.

The RIs are defined in a new piece of legislation called the Food Information to Consumers Regulation.

You can download the document on this link.

The Regulation provides RIs for use on a label for Energy kJ, kcal, fat, saturates, (total) sugars,  and salt and these are the same as the current ‘adult’ GDA values, with the exception of
protein which has changed from 45g to 50g and
carbohydrate which has changed from 230g to 260g.

The Nutrition Program shows the Reference Intake on a recipe as a %.

Put your recipe in My Recipes and go to Nutrition and see the chart.

This is a recipe for Vegan lasagne and you can see that it supplies plenty of protein – 59%

Vegan red and yellow pepper risotto

To make a risotto, the rice needs to be stirred during cooking

Vegan Risotto with yellow and red peppers

Serves 2


1 small red onion, peeled and cut into small pieces, 70g

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

2 tbs vegetable oil

120g risotto or other rice

1/2 cob of sweetcorn, with seeds removed (50g seeds)

1 red and 1 yellow pepper (about 100g) deseeded and cut into chunks

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp vegan bouillon powder or 1 vegan stock cube

400ml boiling water

2 spring onions, washed and finely chopped


Roasted peppers
Fry onion and sweetcorn

Preheat the oven 200C.

Fry the onion and the garlic in a large frying pan over a gentle heat to soften the onion. Stir often and after 5 minutes add the rice.

Put the chunks of pepper in a roasting tin and toss in the oil. Put in the oven and roast for 20 minutes so that the peppers soften and the sugars caramelise, giving some brown edges and added flavour.

Add the sweetcorn seeds to the rice mixture.

Mix the boiling water in a jug with the bouillon powder or stock cube. Stir slowly into the rice mixture, letting the rice absorb the liquid.

Stir and cook the rice for 10-15 minutes until the rice softens. Add the sweetcorn 2 minutes before the end of cooking.

Remove the peppers from the oven and spoon out of the oil, leaving excess oil in the roasting pan.

Gently toss the red and yellow peppers into the rice then taste and add more seasoning if needed.

Sprinkle over the finely chopped spring onions.

To do

Take photos of the dish.

Put the recipe ingredients into the Nutrition Program to look at the nutrition.

This is the food label – the arrow points to the Vegan label.

This is the Food Label – the risotto provides 464 kcal per 350g portion = 23% RI
See the allergens and the label Vegan

Write up the method so it is saved on your Recipe Sheet.

The risotto is a well balanced dish but more protein could be added.
Taste the risotto and create a star profile to show how it needs improving. This recipe needs extra protein and more flavour and longer cooking.

Protein and Vegan meals

This is the Reference Intake used for energy and nutrients for adults.

You can use the Nutrition Program to test the protein content of your vegan meals and see how to improve the meal.

The Nutrition Program has Reference Intake (RI) values used on food labels to show how a product or meal meets the RI value of 50g of protein a day.

In My Meals the Nutrition Program works out that a meal can supply 30% of Reference Intake needs.

Vegan products can be made to copy or replace traditional food – for example, cheese.

This is the nutritional value of Grated Cheddar Style coconut based cheese alternative – a vegan alternative.

This is the nutrition information for Cheddar Cheese made from milk

What is the difference in protein between the 2 products?

To do

Put this Cheese on toast recipe into the Nutrition Program

1 slice of wholemeal toast, 50g grated Cheddar cheese.

Look at the Nutrition result –

Look at protein content in cheese on toast

Analyse a Vegan type cheese on toast

Look at protein content in Vegan cheese on toast

To do

Compare the nutrition of Cheddar cheese on toast with vegan cheese on toast. Write a sentence about your findings.

Changing sodium to salt

We are told to cut down on salt but sodium is listed on food labels so how do we convert?

Sodium to salt

To convert sodium to salt, multiply the sodium figure in milligrams (mg) by 2.5 and then divide by 1,000. So: millgrams of sodium X 2.5 = milligrams of salt ÷ 1,000

Eating too much salt increases your risk of developing high blood pressure which is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Too much salt is harmful to health

Thanks to the brilliant Dave Smith for this artwork

Too much salt is harmful to health

 News Flash – Food labelling is changing

By December 2014 all food labels will only list salt -sodium will not be listed. This will make it much easier for you to see how much salt each product contains.

 Choose lower salt options using the following guidelines on food labels:

A food high in salt has more than 1.5g salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium).

Functions of nutrients

These are the Hover overs used on the Nutrition Program to help you find the function of nutrients. The Program shows you what nutrients are in your recipes.

You need these details for

WJEC Vocational Award Level 1/2 Hospitality and Catering Unit 2 AC1.1 Describe functions of nutrients in the human body 

Energy – Measured in KJ and Kcal. Needed to keep us alive and active.
Protein – Needed for growth and repair, a source of energy.
Carbohydrates – A source of energy.
Total sugars are all types of sugar in food. A source of energy.
Fat – Good source of energy and supplies essential fatty acids that the body can’t make.
Saturated fat – Too much saturated fat can increase the cholesterol in the blood.
Trans fatty acids – These raise the type of cholesterol in the blood that increases the risk of heart disease.
Starch – Polysaccharide made up of glucose units. Used for energy.
Salt – Essential for cells and control of body fluids. Limit intake to 6g a day.
Sodium – Salt is made from sodium chloride.
Total sugars – All types of sugar in the food.
Fibre – Needed to keep the gut healthy and prevent constipation. Non Starch polysaccharide – needed for healthy digestive system.
NSP Fibre Non Starch polysaccharide – needed for healthy digestive system.
AOAC Fibre – Fibre measurement AOAC includes lignin and resistant starch – higher figure than NSP.
Fat soluble vitamins A and D, E
Vitamin A – Needed for growth, development and eyesight. Retinol and Carotene
Vitamin D – Regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.
Vitamin E – Helps protect cell membranes by acting as an antioxidant.
Water soluble vitamins -B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin),B3 (niacin),B6 (pyridoxine)
Vitamin C – Needed for healthy skin and tissue, and to aid the absorption of iron. Ascorbic acid
Thiamin – Needed for the release of energy from carbohydrates.(B1)
Riboflavin – Helps release energy from carbohydrates.
Niacin – Needed for the release of energy from carbohydrates.
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine – essential for good health and red blood metabolism.
Folate – Prevents neural tube defects in developing embryos. (B9)
Vitamin B12 – for blood cells and nerve function. (cobalamin),
Vitamin K – Helps protect cell membranes by acting as an antioxidant.
Minerals – calcium, iron, sodium, phosphorus, iodine,
Calcium – Helps build strong bones and teeth.
Iron – Helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body.
Phosphorus – Helps build strong bones and teeth.
Iodine – Helps make the thyroid hormones and keep metabolic rate healthy
Water – All body functions need water.

Function of Nutrients