How do you measure the calories in food?

Image by Katharina Dolinski from Pixabay

Question from Annie Warman

The calories you see on food packaging are actually kilocalories (1,000 calories) and these are defined as the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. The calorie content of food can be measured in one of two ways. The traditional method was to place the food in a sealed container surrounded by water, known as a bomb calorimeter, and burn it to measure the resulting rise in water temperature. However, today it’s usually calculated by adding up the calories provided by the food’s protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol content.

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