Nutritional analysis: software specification

Guidance for local authorities, or their contracted caterers, for advice to procure software which will be used to plan and nutritionally analyse food and drink provision in schools in order to meet the Nutritional Requirements for food and drink in schools (Scotland) Regulations, 2020.

Functioning of the Software

17. The software must be flexible to allow variations to requirements, for example:

  • increase or decrease in the number of children having lunch each day
  • portion size
  • the number of servings of each food
  • drink or recipe
  • changes to menus.

18. The software must be able to host a library of food, drinks and recipes which can be searched by food, drink, recipe or ingredient.

19. The software must allow the user to undertake a weighted analysis by specifying the number of servings of each different food, drink or recipe which will then be used to calculate the average nutrient content per meal per day (for energy) and per week (for energy and all other nutrients) using the formula described in 21 and 22 below.

20. The software must allow the user to perform nutritional analysis of a menu using either primary or secondary nutrient standards. The particular standards used must be clearly marked on the analysis output.

21. The energy (kcal) contained within the average school lunch per day must be calculated in accordance with the following formula;


Where 'A' is the total energy (kcal) provided in all school lunches in a day. Where 'B' is the estimated number of school lunches served to pupils during that school day.

22. The energy (kcal) and nutrient content of the average school lunch across a week should be calculated using the following formula;


Where 'C' is the total energy (kcal) and nutrients provided in all schools lunches served at the school lunch in a school week (four or five days as determined by the user). Where 'D' is the estimated number of school lunches served to pupils during that school week. Where 'E' is the number of number of days in the school week.

23. The software must allow the portion size as served or number of servings to be adjusted by the user either when putting a food, drink or recipe into a menu plan, or after it is within a menu plan.

24. The software must have a recipe analysis function to nutritionally analyse individual recipes. This should be flexible to allow substitution of ingredients and alteration of ingredient quantities and/or portion size to enable users to undertake recipe adaptation and reformulation. This should have version control built in to allow comparison between different versions of recipes.

25. The software must have the ability for data within recipes and manufactured products to be updated when new nutritional composition data is made available. This should be able to be tagged/identified when the data has been updated with date and the user who completed this. The old information should be available as a historical record which can be retrieved in the future.

26. The software must have a search and replace function to identify recipes which are high or low in a particular nutrient and offer appropriate alternatives.

27. The ability to identify:

  • the weight of fruit and/or vegetables per portion of a product or recipe and/or;
  • if a product or recipe contains a portion of fruit or vegetables (40g for primary schools and 80g for secondary schools with the exception of dried fruit which is 15g and 30g respectively) per serving.

28. The ability to flag if the number of main meals served exceeds or does not equate to the number of children having lunch each day. For example, a menu based on 100 children having lunch but the analysis contains only 90 main meals. This is to avoid manual calculation error.



Back to top