All the other macromolecules are listed on the Nutrition labels and nucleic acids do have some caloric value, why aren't they on the nutrition facts?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Please remember to provide reasons for a down vote so the OP can make appropriate edits to this and future questions. $\endgroup$
    – CDB
    Apr 25, 2017 at 0:59
  • $\begingroup$ nucleic acids are in nearly all foods, with the only exception being certain condiments. that alone could be the reason no one bothers labeling them. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Apr 25, 2017 at 4:40
  • $\begingroup$ They're probably counted as carbohydrates. Ribose and deoxyribose are carbohydrates after all. $\endgroup$ Apr 25, 2017 at 11:49
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Despite the question being interesting, I am voting to close. I am voting to close because it is clearly a public policy / food security question and not a biology question. $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Oct 31, 2017 at 2:31

1 Answer 1


This FAO report can tell you all about food analysis and why things are and aren't on the label: http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/y5022e/y5022e03.htm#TopOfPage

First, not all nitrogen in foods is found in proteins: it is also contained in variable quantities of other compounds, such as free amino acids, nucleotides, creatine and choline, where it is referred to as non-protein nitrogen (NPN). Only a small part of NPN is available for the synthesis of (non-essential) amino acids.

The DNA in food would contribute to the nitrogen content. Then (using a food-specific "Jones" factor) total nitrogen content is converted to protein content. So in a way it's already there.

Listing DNA separately would require extra testing, and also the difference in daily use would be negligible. There's not that much DNA in food anyway and, like protein, DNA can be converted into new protein and energy. The Jones factor already accounts for this.


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