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Cereals: Nutritional Value and Price

Cereals are one of the leading human food products, which have many nutrients and vitamins that represent the product’s nutritional value. Parallels between nutritional value and food value have been drawn since the last decade using the USDA food database for research (Drewnowski, 2010). However, a deeper analysis of cereals in the scientific literature has not been carried out, and therefore it is necessary to fill this research gap. The control variables for this study should be their energy density, energy cost, and nutrients. The last variable is subdivided into proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and calories. The controlled variable will be price since it changes over time in contrast to the nutritional value of crops. The ratio is maintained between three units of measurement – gram, dollar, and calories. Correlations between the indicated variables must be sought using regression analysis.

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The primary sources for the work are the USDA nutrient composition databases, from which forty types of cereals were taken for statistics, and the prices of cereals in local stores and supermarkets (U.S. Department of Agriculture, n.d.). All value ranges will be taken from database data following government standards. The research question looks for the dependence of changes in price on the nutrients of crops in the context of time. This research is essential for society since ensuring access to healthy foods is one of the public health goals (Gupta et al., 2019). The statistics data for complex nutrients variable are presented in Table 1. Mean values reflect the percentage of protein, fat and carbohydrates and the number of calories per serving. The longer shelf life of cereals makes them more inexpensive and more accessible than fresh vegetables and fruits.

Table 1. Descriptive Statistics for Nutritional Content of Cereals

Statistics Calories Fats Proteins Carbohydrates
N 40 40 40 40
Mean 3.83 0.05 0.12 0.62
Std. Deviation 0.29 0.03 0.04 0.08
Skewness 1.65 3 2.25 0.75
Min 1.92 0 0.02 0.29
Q1 2.95 0.04 0.08 0.46
Median 3.99 0.08 0.15 0.64
Q3 4.22 0.11 0.17 0.79
Max 4.44 0.13 0.19 0.95

Source: (Ispiryan et al., 2019).

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References

Drewnowski, A. (2010). The cost of US foods as related to their nutritive value. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 92(5), 1181-1188.

Gupta, S., Hawk, T., Aggarwal, A., & Drewnowski, A. (2019). Characterizing ultra-processed foods by energy density, nutrient density, and cost. Frontiers in Nutrition, 6, 70.

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Ispiryan, L., Kuktaite, R., Zannini, E., & Arendt, E. K. (2021). Fundamental study on changes in the FODMAP profile of cereals, pseudo-cereals, and pulses during the malting process. Food Chemistry, 343, 128-129.

U.S. Department of Agriculture. (n.d.) FoodData Central. 

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