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ANARIE Posts: 13,070
4/7/13 4:37 P

Yup, companies are allowed to put volume measurements on as a courtesy, but legally what matters is weight. If they do list a volume, it has to be *as it is when it goes into the package.* So LEGALLY they have to put on the best-case, fluffed-up, no-broken-pieces measurement. They're not doing it to deceive, they're doing it because that's what they're required to do. Then it leaves the factory line and gets jammed into a box, stuffed into a carton, thrown on a truck, bounced across half a continent, dumped on a loading dock, slammed onto a forklift or dolly, dropped on the floor of the aisle, tossed back and forth among the stockboys, wheeled around in your shopping cart, stuffed into a grocery bag, pushed into your trunk or back seat, and dragged home, all before you even open it. So it's much less fluffy when you open the package than when they sealed it, and the stuff at the top of the package is much fluffier than the stuff at the bottom. (The last cup of cereal in the bottom of the box can weigh two or three times as much as the first cup at the top did!)

4/7/13 1:56 P

The equivalent could be true just off the factory floor, but change over time.

First, how it is handled from there to your kitchen is important. Pieces get broken up the more/rougher it is handled making it more dense, that is especially true near the bottom of the package.

Second, moisture will certainly make the total weight more. Depending on packaging, it could gain moisture before opening and likely will after opening.

Everything does not have to be a conspiracy to be true.

NIRERIN Posts: 13,899
4/7/13 1:00 P

the thing to remember is that companies go by weight. the government uses weight as the primary portioning tool. and because people complain about having to measure using a scale when cups are so much easier to use, companies plop whatever it is into something that measures volume and call it a conversion.
but the fact of the matter is that when kellogg's puts sixteen one ounce [weight ounces, not fluid ounces] servings of cereal into a bag, that bag is sitting on a scale that moves the next bag in to fill when the weight limit is reached. if that cereal says that 1 ounce is supposed to be a cup, you can bet your boots that there isn't a person scooping sixteen one cup servings into that bag. just like when they send out that 1oz to be tested for nutritional information, they weigh it out, dump it in a cup measuring cup and as long as it is reasonably close, call it good and send it out to be tested.
my oats in the pantry are quaker oats and they say a serving is 40g. so for what is in my cabinet 40g of oats will be 150 cals [plus or minus the 20% margin of error they are allowed]. the volume measurement given is half a cup and those 40g will be around that, but the manufacturer isn't guaranteeing that. serving sizes for foods are determined by weight, so if you're really going for accuracy, you need to weigh and not pay any attention to the volume measurement provided, again, because the volume measurement provided is a sort of afterthought and not something that is really being checked or paid attention to.
and yes, you should be measuring dry goods in dry measuring cups and liquids in a liquid measuring cup.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,429
4/7/13 12:40 P

I prefer to use my food scale for this reason.

I don't 100% trust the nutrition labels when it comes to the volume measures. I guess in an effort to make their foods look lower-cal (and thus more attractive to the reading consumer), they will put in the best-possible-case-scenario, "a half cup, very carefully poured and fluffed up, will weigh 56 grams!"

Another example - in my freezer is a bag of frozen buffalo chicken wings from Costco. The nutrition label shows 190 calories "per 2-3 wings (100 grams)." Great, I thought! I can be satisfied on 4-6 wings, that's under 400 calories, fits in my daily range, I can have this "treat!"

Then i put them on the scale. Two wings weighed 139 grams. Hmm. I rummaged through the bag looking for smaller pieces. Hmmm. Still 127 grams for TWO. Rummaged some more, and was able to find wings small enough whereby 2 would equal 100 grams; there were NO wings in the bag small enough to measure "3 wings=100 grams." So. Yeah. Here I was expecting (and without the food scale would have been eating) 5 or 6 plump yummy wings and figuring I was "on my daily calorie target." Instead, I got 4 scrawny ones.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
4/7/13 9:10 A

when it comes to dry ingredients, it's better to go by weight
measuring cups like you have will give you a rough idea, but there's been lots of research about HOW you put the product in the cup that makes a big difference.

For instance - if you scoop it out, sometimes it compacts, so you'll get more. If you spoon it from the original container into the cup, you'll add air, and get less. That's why the weight is often given for dry goods, too, as is a more accurate indication of how much you need.

Volume - better to use the transparent glass or plastic pourable measure cups

CREATIVITEAPOT SparkPoints: (1,377)
Fitness Minutes: (2,560)
Posts: 24
4/7/13 9:07 A

I had an interesting--albeit a bit frustrating--revelation yesterday. I measured 1/2 cup rolled oats into a bowl to check the weight in grams, and it read 56 g, compared to the anywhere from 40 to 48 g serving size recommendations on brand boxes. I then began to wonder--does the type of measuring cup really matter? Mine also have ml measurements on the handle, so they must be for liquids, too. Should one have both wet and dry measuring cups for accuracy? Are they truly different? And if so, what brands have you found that you liked and that are most accurate in your experience?

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